- Each letter has a numerical value
- There is no representation for 0
- In order to make larger numbers, you combine letters and their numerical values
- Modern Israeli Hebrew generally uses the Arabic numbers (and even more notably, the Arabic numerals appear to be written left to right like English even though the rest of the Hebrew language is written right to left!)
- Hebrew numbers are used much like Americans (and other English speakers?) use Roman numerals, such as numbering paragraphs and lists
- In religious texts, Hebrew numbers can be used to number paragraphs and chapters. For instance, you may hear someone say, "In perek (chapter) aleph, we read..." This may be a chapter in the Torah text or a chapter in the Talmud. Perek essentially means division or unit. Note: chapter and verse divisions in the Torah (except for Tehillim) are a Christian invention, but that is a different topic!
- Jewish mystics use these numerical values to ascribe "values" to Hebrew words and phrases, which is known as Gematria.
A simple Hebrew numbers chart can be found here. It's perfect for your fridge or bathroom mirror!