The new letter
The new letterThe Academy of the Hebrew Language

The Academy of the Hebrew Language, the official governing body of the modern Hebrew language, announced on Monday that from now on the Hebrew alphabet will consist of 23 letters.

The name of the new letter is the Affricate Tzadi, which is written as the mirror image of the Hebrew letter Tzadi (צ\ץ). Instead of the "Tz" pronunciation of a regular Tzadi, the Affricated Tzadi will be pronounced "Ch" (which until now was written as צ').

The background to the Academy's decision: "A finding in one of the Qumran (Dead Sea) Scrolls, which was written by the Essenes, shows that in parts that discuss the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, the word 'Tzedek' (justice) is written with a backward Tzadi."

The Academy explained that the "pronunciation of the Affricated Tzadi, seemingly reflects the common pronunciation of the letter in Second Temple Hebrew. The Academy of the Hebrew Language's decision aims to preserve the pronunciation tradition and to include it in the epigraphic find from the Qumran Scrolls."

The Academy also stated that it "already contacted the leading technological companies and shortly, the various keyboards on computers, laptops, and cellphones will be updated, so users could type the Affricate Tzadi."

The Academy quickly commented: "Today is April 1st, April Fool's Day, and we also wanted to joke. There is no such thing! There is no new letter in Hebrew, and if you want to write 'Ch' write צ'! Maybe it will interest you to know that there are researchers who believe that one of the pronunciations of the Tzadi during the Second Temple period was 'Ch.'"