by Brad Scott
This term is used to describe the dialect of the Spanish-Portuguese speaking Yehudim in the diaspora. The sephardic dialect is the most dominant western Hebrew. The Hasidic movement, the Yehudim that most Americans invision, partly due to television and National Geographic, adopted this dialect. The most demonstrative difference between the Askenazic and Sephardic dialects is the articulation of the tav (ת) (a t sound in Sephardic and an s sound in Askenaz) The qamatz vowel and the placement of accents are also different.
This word finds its root in the Hebrew word sepher (ספר), which is translated primarily as book or letter in the Tanakh. The English word scribes comes from this word (sopherim). It is also the source of the sapphire stone.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊