Style Guide for Preparing Shared Work

In every case, we defer to the contributor’s preferred style in contributing their work, whether it is an original work, or a translation or transcription of an existing work. However, we do suggest the following style as a baseline standard for all contributed works.

 

Sources

Transcribers should endeavor to transcribe either the earliest textual witness of a particular textual unit, prayer, or prayer related work.

Lacking access to a manuscript image, transcribers should use a critical text whenever available.

If the Public Domain status of the work is in question, please consult this chart or contact us.

 

Transcriptions of Hebrew text

Please vocalize all text as it appears in the work being transcribed. Leave unvocalized text, as is.

For all unvocalized text (text without vocalization points — niqud), please provide (or solicit) a separate edition of the text that is completely vocalized.

Provide citations for all quoted references within brackets or parentheses.

Please avoid using circumlocutions for shemot (Divine Names) in new works.

Transcribers should retain circumlocutions as they appear in historical works.

 

Rendering Names, Divine Names, Circumlocutions, and Terms for generic divinities

All names and place names should be romanized (transliterated with the alphabet) according to the transliteration schema set below. For example, יעקב becomes Ya’aqov (rather than Jacob).

Please do not translate divine names.

Transliterate all divine names with the first letter in Uppercase. For example, אלהים becomes Elohim (rather than “God”), etc.

In the case of the Tetragrammaton (the Four-Letter Name), we recommend it simply being rendered as “YHVH” (rather than “LORD” or “the LORD”). ‘Adonai’ is fine for presenting romanized transliterations of the Tetragrammaton.

Do not capitalize the first letter of divine pronouns. For example: “you” instead of “You.” Exceptions may be made for distinguishing singular “They” or THEY from plural “they.”

When replacing he/him/his in a gender-neutral grammatical reference to the Divine in translation, you may either (in order of preference):

  1. replace the pronoun with singlular ‘they,’
  2. use a circumlocution for the most recent divine name mentioned (in cases where plural ‘they’ would be confusing), or else
  3. choose a circumlocution such as “Hashem” for YHVH or “G♕d” for Elohim, if necessary. For example, “Praise YHVH for THEY are good. Hashem loves those with integrity.”

Divine epithets may remain gender-neutral or gendered, based on the translator’s preference. For example: “Melekh ha-Olam” may be translated as “Cosmic Majesty.” “Avinu Malkeinu” may be translated as “My father, My king.”

Any indirect reference to divinity may be treated as a generic. For example יהוה אלהיך becomes “YHVH your elo’ah (rather than “YHVH your god”) and אלהי יעקב becomes “elo’ah of Ya’aqov” (rather than god of Ya’aqov”).

Generic terms for divine entities should be identified in transliteration in lowercase. For example, אלים becomes elim.

Circumlocutions found in contemporary works should be replaced with the divine names they signify in the manner described above.

 

Translations and Complex Terms

Please do not translate complex terms. Transliterate them and, if necessary, provide more expansive explanations in a footnote.

All complex terms should be romanized (transliterated with the Latin script alphabet) according to the transliteration schema set below. For example, ציצית becomes tsisit (rather than tzizit).

Default male-gender language, where the gender is not significant, should be translated using gender neutral alternatives. For example: “avot/avoteinu” may be translated as “ancestors” rather than “forefathers.”

Gendered language, where the gender is significant, should retain the gender in translation. For example: “imahot” may be translated as “foremothers.”

 

Annotations

Provide all comments and citation references inline rather than as footnotes or endnotes. Begin and end references with reference tags, <ref> and </ref>, respectively.

 

Transliteration Schema

Find below, a chart for Hebrew consonants and vowels with their corresponding letters in romanized Latin script.

אַ = a, â
אָ = a, â
אׇ = o, ō
אֵ = e, é, ei
אֶ = e
אִ = i
אְ = ‘, ə, e
אֻ = u, ū
אֹ = o, ō
בּ = b
ב = ḇ, v
ג = g
ד = d
ה = h
הּ = hh
ו = v
וּ = u, ū
וֹ = o, ō
ז = z
ח = ḥ (ḥaroset)
ט = t, ṭ
י = y
כּ = k (kavod)
כ = kh (ana b’khoaḥ)
ל = l
מ = m
נ = n
ס = s
ע = ‘a (as for alef, above)
פּ = p
פ = f
צ = ts (tsitsit, mitsvah)
ק = q, ḳ (ḳaddish, Qoraḥ)
ר = r
שׁ = sh
שׂ = s
תּ = t
ת = t