If you don't read Rashi Script then it may look like an impenetrable barrier to understanding those texts (such as Rashi's) that are printed using it.
But this is not true. There are only 27 characters in Rashi Script: the 22 Hebrew letters and the 5 letters with final forms. Of these 27 characters, most are basically the same in Rashi Script and the standard block print form. So there is really very little to learn if you already know how to read the regular block print. (If you don't, click here to see our Alef-Beit pronunciation guide or here to learn to read Hebrew in 2 hours.)
Are you ready to learn Rashi Script in 10 minutes or less? Here is how:
- View the chart of the Hebrew letters in Rashi Script to the right. (Click here for a printable version.)
- Look at the letters and the Rashi Script forms. You will note that most of the letters are basically the same in both forms. Those letters (about 18 out of 27) you now know in Rashi Script.
- That leaves about 9 letters that are not trivial to learn. Some of these are pretty similar but not as similar as the group above. Make a note of them and spend a minute familiarizing yourself with them. That should be enough for those letters.
- The final mem and the samech are not so hard but the final mem in Rashi Script looks like a samech in block print and the samech looks like the final mem in Hebrew handwriting (script). Remember that these two letters are "switched" as it were.
- That leaves about 4 letters that actually look different in Rashi Script. Spend 5 minutes on those 4 letters.
- That is about 10 minutes. You now know Rashi Script but will need to practice.
- Now start reading Rashi Script and you will see that you know most of the letters but will have some trouble with the 4 in the last group and occasionally some problems with the middle group. Practice a bit and keep a printout of the chart handy for the tricky letters.
Not so hard, eh?
If you need more help learning Rashi script we recommmend this Kindle book (also viewable on your computer, tablet or smart phone): How To Learn Rashi Script, by Boruch Rappaport.