# Can I make polyglossia use the old-style Hebrew fonts?

I really like the way the "old" Meta-Front Jerusalem Hebrew font looks (it used to be the default for typesetting Hebrew when you used babel). Now that I've started using Polyglossia, I really miss it.

Is there a way for me to make polyglossia use the Jerusalem font itself?

If not, what's the closest I can get to having text rendered in it?

Here are two simple MWEs, just because I know people on TeX.SX love MWEs... the first line in the first file David CLM, the first line in the second file is Jerusalem.

Polyglossia:

% this file is encoded in UTF-8 character encoding
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{polyglossia}
\setdefaultlanguage{hebrew}
\setotherlanguage{english}
\newfontfamily\hebrewfont[Script=Hebrew]{David CLM}
\usepackage{bidi}
\newcommand{\hebqbf}{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
\begin{document}
\noindent
\hebqbf
\end{document}


and Babel:

% this file is encoded in UTF-8 character encoding
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}
\usepackage[hebrew,english]{babel}

\newcommand{\hebqbf}{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
\begin{document}
\selectlanguage{hebrew}
\noindent
\hebqbf )גופן רגיל(\\
\textit{\hebqbf}  )גופן נטוי(\\
\textbf{\hebqbf} )גופן מודגש(\\
\textit{\textbf{\hebqbf}}  )גופן נטוי ומודגש(\\
\end{document}


Screenshot of the rendered second MWE:

• I guess you could try to identify if some OpenType font comes near the old one you are looking for: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/45919/… – Ruben Sep 18 '17 at 21:44
• The second MWE doesn’t work for me. Which packages do I need to install to compile it with TexLive? – Davislor Sep 18 '17 at 21:51
• @Davislor: Try reading this to get the MWE working for you. I don't know that there's a relevant CTAN package you could install. – einpoklum Sep 18 '17 at 21:53
• @Davislor: Or maybe try the hebtex CTAN package - if it's actually usable these days. – einpoklum Sep 18 '17 at 21:55
• @einpoklum hebtexdefinitely didn’t work. I’ve seen enough to tell anybody: don’t use the obsolete toolchain from the ’90s. It’s a rigmarole. – Davislor Sep 18 '17 at 21:59

I strongly recommend that you not use the Hebrew toolchain from the ’90s. It’s a rigmarole even to install these days.

You already know how you can use any OpenType font that covers Hebrew, such as Cardo or even Times New Roman, in a modern toolchain, because you already did in your first MWE. You might take a look at this comparison of free Hebrew fonts from 2013 or this more up-to-date font list and see if you like any of them.

If you prefer a font like the former default in LaTeX, you probably would in your word processor as well, so you might want to find a modern OpenType one you like, anyway.

### Minimal Working Example

This is a new MWE that responds to the asker’s feedback in the comments. It uses a lighter and narrower version of David that also has its height set more correctly than David CLM (which you’ll notice looks visually bigger than other fonts at the same height; it would be possible to adjust this). I include the David CLM family as a comparison, and an example of a family with actual italic, bold and bold italic faces.

%% As of 2017, this document only compiles with XeLaTeX.

\documentclass[crop, varwidth]{standalone}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\usepackage{polyglossia}

\setotherlanguage{hebrew}
\defaultfontfeatures{Scale=MatchLowercase, Ligatures={Common, TeX}}

% Loads multiple different fonts as a single "family" solely for backward-
% compatibility with old versions of babel.  Not the best choice for new
% documents.
\newfontfamily\hebrewfont[ Script=Hebrew,
BoldFont={Frank Ruhl Libre},
ItalicFont={Miriam Libre},
BoldItalicFont={Simple CLM}
] {David Libre}

% The actual David CLM font family.  I recommend its height be adjusted when
\newfontfamily\altdavid{David CLM}

\newcommand\textbfit[1]{{\bfseries\itshape\selectfont{#1}}}
\newcommand\textalt[1]{{\altdavid\selectfont{#1}}}

\begin{document}
\begin{hebrew}
{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(גופן רגיל)\\
\textit{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(גופן נטוי)\\
\textbf{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(גופן מודגש)\\
\textbfit{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(גופן נטוי ומודגש)\\
\textalt{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(דוד קולמוס)\\
\textalt{\textit{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}}
(דוד נטוי)\\
\textalt{\textbf{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}}
(דוד מודגש)\\
\textalt{\textbf{\textit{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}}}
(דוד נטוי ומודגש)
\end{hebrew}
\end{document}


The first four lines duplicates the behavior of your example as closely as I could, using only free fonts from the OpenSiddur collection, but I don’t recommend you actually load four different fonts as a font “family,” none of which are really bold or italic. (You might need to download the full David CLM family from the Culmus project.) Old versions of Babel only did that to work around limitations of old versions of LaTeX. It might, however, be useful for getting legacy documents to work with a new preamble.

Although, looking at the desired output again, the third line should be darker. So you might want to replace Frank Ruhl Libre with Frank Ruhl Libre Medium, or an even darker version.

You’ll notice some differences in the font metrics and the shape of the ם on the third line. There are other weights and variants of the same fonts you can try out.

You might want to consider declaring the different fonts with \newfontfamily or \newfontface, rather than calling font faces “bold” or “italic.” (Or you can load a font package if it exists.)

If you don’t want to specify particular fonts inside the body of the document, a family name like \hebsans might be more meaningful for the sans-serif Hebrew font than “italic.”

### Using the Old Fonts Today

If you do need to load the exact old fonts from Babel, they are: jerus10 (“Jerusalem,” the default), oldjaf10 (“Old Jaffa,” italic), deads10 (“Dead Sea,” bold) and telav10 (“Tel Aviv,” bold italic). These may be encoded in LHE, the Local Hebrew Encoding, which you can access with the command \usepackage[T1, LHE]{fontenc}. The full commands that Babel uses to declare its fonts are in this document. You should be able to copy and paste into a .sty if you really, really must.

The \usepackage{hebfont} package lets you select the old Jerusalem font as \jm. The documentation says that {\jm ...} is still a supported way to change the font for backward compatibility, so you could try that. There are also \textjm, \textoj, \textds and \textta commands in the package for Jerusalem, Old Jaffa, Dead Sea and Tel Aviv, respectively.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a MWE, as I haven’t even been able to get your second example to run on TeX Live 2017. (I’ve only been able to get symbols like \hebaleph to work so far.)

### A Previous MWE

This is the version the OP said was ugly.

It also loads one of the few free Hebrew font families that come with oblique and bold-oblique faces. This is Shuneet v2.0. (The designer says the next version will slant right rather than left, which is more common in Israel.)

Please pardon any errors I make in Hebrew.

\documentclass[crop, varwidth]{standalone}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\usepackage{polyglossia}

\setotherlanguage{hebrew}
\defaultfontfeatures{Scale=MatchLowercase, Ligatures={Common, TeX}}

% Loads multiple different fonts as a single "family" solely for backward-
% compatibility with old versions of babel.  Not the best choice for new
% documents.
\newfontfamily\hebrewfont[ Script=Hebrew,
BoldFont={Frank Ruhl Libre Medium},
ItalicFont={Miriam Libre},
BoldItalicFont={Simple CLM Medium}
] {David Libre Medium}

\newfontfamily\hebscript[ BoldFont={Shuneet Bold},
ItalicFont={Shuneet Oblique},
BoldItalicFont={Shuneet Oblique Bold}
] {Shuneet Medium}

\newcommand\textbfit[1]{{\bfseries\itshape\selectfont{#1}}}
\newcommand\handfont[1]{{\hebscript\selectfont{#1}}}

\begin{document}
\begin{hebrew}
מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.
(גופן רגיל)\\
\textit{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(גופן נטוי)\\
\textbf{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(גופן מודגש)\\
\textbfit{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(גופן נטוי ומודגש)\\
\handfont{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}
(שונית)\\
\handfont{\textit{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}}
(שונית נטוי)\\
\handfont{\textbf{מנעולן הפך כף חצץ שגזר קט איבד סתם.}}
(שונית מודגש)
\end{hebrew}
\end{document}


• Can you explain what you mean by "as \jm"? – einpoklum Sep 18 '17 at 21:25
• I mean the documentation says the old-style command {\jm ...} is still supported for backward-compatibility. I haven’t made a MWE yet. – Davislor Sep 18 '17 at 21:37
• Won’t help you if the fonts aren’t installed, but the package from more than twenty years ago does seem to still be in the CTAN repository. – Davislor Sep 18 '17 at 21:41
• It seems strange to read שונית נטוי and not נטויה, and maybe neither is correct. What’s the right way to say Shuneet Oblique? Would that just appear in English? – Davislor Sep 19 '17 at 23:52
• @Davislor: First, there's the question of how you translate the word "oblique", regardless of fonts; the word נטוי literally means "slanted", and there's no proper Hebrew equivalent of "oblique". Ignoring this though, you would write: "שונית נטוי", because it's not an "oblique coral reef", it's the coral reef font, oblique variant. And "font" is male in Hebrew. – einpoklum Sep 20 '17 at 8:23