ASCII Character אHebrew letter Alef
Aleph (or alef or alif, transliterated ʾ) is the first letter of the Semitic abjads, including the Hebrew alphabet. In gematria, aleph represents the number 1, and when used at the beginning of Hebrew years, it means 1000 (e.g. א'תשנ"ד in numbers would be the Hebrew date 1754, not to be confused with 1754 CE). In Modern Hebrew, the frequency of the usage of alef, out of all the letters, is 4.94%. Aleph is sometimes used as a mater lectionis to denote a vowel, usually /a/. That use is more common in words of Aramaic and Arabic origin, in foreign names, and some other borrowed words.