A letter signed by Rabbi Yosef Braun, Rabbi MM Gluckowsky and Rabbi Ezra Schochet, weighs in on the topic of attributing sounds to letters of the Alef Beis when teaching kriah.
By Anash.org reporter
In a series of discussions on the appropriate method for teaching Alef Beis, a number of Chabad rabbonim have expressed their view on the matter.
The Rebbeim have famously spoken about the significance of teaching Alef Beis in the traditional form of “Komatz Alef Uh,” and the rejection of modern methods that replaced the names of the letters and nekudos with sounds. The Rebbeim explained that while it may seem like an unnecessary step, it is actually a crucial step in chinuch through which Emunah is implanted in the child for life.
In a recent discussion, various mechanchim and rabbonim have discussed whether this is meant to reject any mention of sounds that the letters make or just that the teaching should be done with “Komatz Alef Uh,” though it can be supplemented with explanatory sounds.
In a public letter, dated 9 Nissan 5782, Rabbi Yosef Braun, Rabbi MM Gluckowsky, and Rabbi Ezra Schochet sanction the use of sounds when teaching Alef Beis to young children. They explain that to supplement the teaching of the traditional “Komatz Alef Uh” with the sound that a letter will make is not considered to be a change to the Mesorah and has been practiced by certain upstanding melamdim in previous generations.