Monday, May 6, 2013

HEBREW: How to create a strong password, practicing your Hebrew?

In Hebrew, every letter has a numerical value according to the order in which that letter appears in the Hebrew alphabet.   ALEF is the first letter of the alphabet, and its numeric value is 1. BET, the second, is 2. YOD is the tenth, and its numeric value is 10. The following letter, KAF is 20, LAMED 30, etc. The 19th letter is QOF, which's numerical value is 100. The next one RESH is 200, etc, etc.    This technique is popularly known as GEMATARIA (or GEMATRIA), which is many times used by Rabbis to associate between different words with an identical numerical value. Beyond GEMATARIA,  using the letters as numbers was the normal way Jews used to write numbers before incorporating our modern numeral system (1,2,3).   This numeral system is still in use, for example, for numbering pages or references in traditional Jewish books, or in the Hebrew calendar.  We are now in the year 5773 which in Hebrew HE (5) TAV (400) SHIN (300) 'AYIN (70) GIMEL (3) = התשע"ג .

In our modern days passwords that can be easily remembered are very necessary. Here is an idea that I thought to create strong passwords, combining letters and numbers, by replacing your Hebrew name and/or your last name with numbers. 

My Hebrew name is YOSEF.  In Hebrew it has four letters: YOD, VAV, SAMEKH, PE.  Now, I will reduce every Hebrew letter to is  minimum decimal: YOD (10) = 1, VAV = 6, SAMEKH (60) = 6, PE (80) = 8.   "1668bitton" will be a combination of my Hebrew name and my last name. 

The name "Daniel Cohen" will be  "45113cohen"   or  "daniel255"  or if we want to convert the whole name into Hebrew letters we will get 45113255   :  4 (DALET) , 5 (NUN), 1 (YOD) 1 (ALEF) 3 (LAMED) 2 (KAF) 5 (HE) 5 (NUN).     

The cool thing about this system is that it works only in one way: you can convert your name into numbers and then easily remember the number. But you will not have an easy time trying to guess that 1668 corresponds to "Yosef" or that 45113255 corresponds to "Daniel Cohen".    


"A Lesson from Angry Birds Do angry birds have a choice to be angry?"