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Why Don't You Spell Out G-d's Name?

Why Don't You Spell Out G-d's Name?

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Question:

As you know, I'm not a "believer." I am a logical person -- I only believe in things that can be logically proven. But I was just interested: Why do you always write "G-d"?

Answer:

We do not write G-d's name in a place where it may be discarded or erased. Treating G-d's name with reverence is a way to give respect to G-d. So even though on a computer the name is not really being erased (and perhaps is not really there in the first place), and "G-d" is only an English term used to translate G-d's holy name, it is in keeping with this respect that I write "G-d" in my emails and on-line articles.

This causes problems. No matter how many times I write "G-d", the spell-check on the computer has no idea what I mean. "G-d" is not in its dictionary, and it won't accept it as an addition to the dictionary. So the computer comes up with all types of suggested corrections: Go, Do, G'day. And often half the name ends up on a new line: G-
d.

I guess I shouldn't expect any better. No matter how smart a computer is, certain things are beyond it. How would you program a computer to have respect for G-d's name? It is unreasonable to ask a computer to relate to G-d, because G-d is not a logical concept -- He created intellect, and He cannot be captured by His own creation. A computer is limited to logic, so it can't handle spiritual concepts. Just as a metal-detector will beep when a gun is passed through it, but it cannot pick up a person's thoughts or intentions, intellect can grasp logic and rationale, but it cannot detect the Divine.

But a human is not a computer. Intellect is not where we begin and end. We have a soul that is beyond intellect, and our soul detects G-d because our soul sees G-d.

Jewish faith is about getting in touch with the soul that knows G-d already, without needing any proof. This is not negating intellect -- it is transcending it.

How do you get in touch with your soul? Ask G-d. He'll tell you.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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Discussion (196)
September 25, 2014
Hello, and Shalom all. I found this article above and conversation below to be refreshing. I must say that as Christians in our haste to recognize G-d as a friend, we have perhaps lost some of our reverence for and awe of Him. Many thanks for the explanations here for your spelling of His name and the obvious earnestness of your intent.
MarkA
Gainesville, GA
September 10, 2014
And what some people state about it being better to marry than to burn is not a biblical recommendation as it is a man's idea of what the Bible ought to state.
Jacob
San Jose
September 10, 2014
To anonymous in Las Vegas.

What if you were subjected to people's declaring that the "gospels" are not part of the Bible and that it is man's idea of what the real Bible states?

Nobody here has said that to you.

It is really none of your business how we are commanded to honor Gd. Neither you nor anyone else has the right to demand that we commit a mortal sin. Your shameful claim that it's OK to dishonor the name of Gd, our Savior, is the same as if someone told you it was OK to spit on a picture of your savior.

You have a religion. We have a Divine lifestyle. Get over it.
Joseph
St. Louis
September 10, 2014
God' name
What you stated is not a biblical prohibition as it is a man's idea of what the Bible states .
Anonymous
las vegas
September 5, 2014
Should every person marry?
According to the great ARIZAL, we incarnate many many times in order to "perfect" ourselves. What does that mean? It means that virtually every single individual that comes into the body has imbalances and manifests negative aspects that are distortions of the LIGHT of the Holy One. BUT, after many incarnations usually, an individual neither needs nor desires a sexual relationship, and seeks ONLY to know and to serve the Most High. All other things and activities would be a distraction. Let each person examine himself to determine what is the correct and best path, and, with PROPER prayer, the TRUE path will be elucidated.
Eleazar Shlomo ben Yakov Goldman
Guanajuato, MEXICO
September 5, 2014
Hashem knows and "sees" everything
Everyone knows that Hashem sees all, knows all, and created all that there is, was and ever will be. So, Hashem knows who reveres His NAME and His commandments, knows every detail of what is in our hearts and minds. AND, rewards each person according to all their thoughts, words and deeds. Baruch shem kavod malkuto l'olam va'ed.
Eleazar Shlomo ben Yakov Goldman
Guanajuato, MEXICO
September 4, 2014
Response To Kayleigh
Kayleigh, perhaps you are confusing particularity with insularity? For if we accept the biblical proposition that the Jews have been set apart as a 'light to the nations', then Judaism becomes the "business" of believers everywhere.
Eric Cummer
Toronto
September 3, 2014
A basic fact of Jewish spirituality is that we are required to elevate the physical. Our pure divine souls are sent into this material universe in order to uplift it. It DOES matter what we eat, and every other aspect of physical life. Spirituality is more than thoughts, feelings, & words. Marriage and children are not only permitted (it is better to marry than to burn) but REQUIRED. A man who never marries is committing a sin. We must create a gdly community IN THE MARKETPLACE, rather than retreat to a same-sex monastery or nunnery or live as hermits. Gd has asked us to affect other people positively, rather than to llve apart and selfishly elevate only our own souls. Each soul is already divine before it is born. The point of birth is to interact with the physical universe so as to elevate it. We certainly are required also to avoid letting our physical acts profane the Divine.

You may feel you can use the NAME reverently., but the NAME 's holiness exceeds any humanity capacity.
Jonathan
Chicago
September 3, 2014
You certainly have a right to ask sincere respectful questions, by saying, in effect, "This is different from anything I am familiar with. I'm sure you have a good reason, and I'd really like to understand the reverence that lies behind what you are doing."

But not to insult us by saying, in effect, "Why do Jews do this wrong thing?"

To ask is one thing. To question, as in to express implicit disapproval, is something very different, not matter how sincerely you may disapprove.

I appreciate that you did not know the form of your question implied disapproval. But we have all been repeatedly subjected to intense disapproval from non-Jews ever since we first encountered non-Jews, so if you want to be heard as respectful, you may need to be more careful how you ask.

Some Jews still will not trust your intent, since you may innocently repeat the information to those who seek to use it against us..

But many of us are eager to share our spirituality, which elevates the physical.
Philip
September 3, 2014
To Australia. Your are entitled to personal beliefs about what YOU do. You may even feel entitled to print out this post of mine and throw it onto a dung heap.

You are not entitled to accuse me of lacking pride or devotion to Gd because MY personal beliefs require me to be loyal to GD and to protect Gd's most sacred awesome name from the careless use of those who do not KNOW GD and do not CARE whether their carelessness subjects that most awesome sacred NAME to filth.

The Torah requires that we not take the Name in vain, and it also requires that if we need to relieve ourselves, we leave the camp, so that Gd's Presence in the camp not be subjected to the smell. Similarly, today, we put a mezuzah (which contains biblical passages containing the Name spelled out in Hebrew consonants) on every doorpost of our house, EXCEPT the room containing a toilet. We also do not read the Bible in the bathroom, as per the biblical command to leave the camp to void. (Deut 23:13)
Isaac
Albany
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