For most purposes, modern Hebrew texts use exactly the same numeral notation as English ones: the Hindu-Arabic system, with the digits 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9, and with the most significant digit being on the left:
- איך מגיעים לכביש 17? — eikh magi'ím likh'vísh 17? — How do you get to Highway 17?
- יש 12,345 תלמידים. — yesh 12,345 talmidím. — There are 12,345 students.
As in English, such numbers are normally read out as words, with long strings of digits (such as phone numbers) being read out one digit at a time.
But for a number of purposes, a system based on the Hebrew alphabet is used, with each letter being assigned a numeric value:
Numbers are then expressed using a combination of these letters; for example, 123 = 100 + 20 + 3 = ק ﬩ כ ﬩ ג is written as קכ״ג. (The symbol between the last two letters is a gersháyim. When there is only one letter, a géresh is placed after it instead.) There are a few special cases; in particular, to avoid writing names of G-d, the numbers 15 and 16 are written as ט״ו (9+6) and ט״ז (9+7), respectively.
This system is frequently used in giving the day of the week; for example, news articles frequently include phrases such as הבוקר (א׳), meaning “this morning (Sunday)”.
Such numbers are read in a number of different ways, depending on the context; they are sometimes read out letter-by-letter, sometimes as ordinal numbers, sometimes as words (for example, ל״ג may be pronounced lag), and sometimes as cardinal numbers.