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

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

E-mail

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 (206)
December 8, 2014
Could you not just right click and add to dictionary....?
Anonymous
November 25, 2014
So now you can just add G-d to the list of names of god. It's not like he only speaks English and is fooled by a hyphen.
Anonymous
November 20, 2014
Here is the post which Joseph responded to:

"What you stated is not a biblical prohibition as it is a man's idea of what the Bible states .
Anonymous las vegas"

Anonymous in Las Vegas here declares classic Jewish beliefs and practices as invalid if they differ from the views of Anonymous.

That is not asking a question. That is sneering at the very attempt to live by Torah.

THAT is why Joseph told Anonymous to "get over" his claim that he--or any religion or person which scorns the belief that Jews need to live according to Torah --should be the ultimate arbitor of what all Jews should do.

Anonymous, whatever his religion, has no reason to tell those who observe this longstanding custom to trash their sancta. Who gave him the right to tell others what to do, or not do, especially since it has absolutely zero effect on his life or well being?

His right to swing his arm stops at other people's faces.
Harry
Cleveland
November 18, 2014
It doesn't matter if a person is a Jew or not.. Being a Jew does not make it OK.
There is no need to speak sneeringly of Jewish practices or Christian practices or Hindu practices or Buddhist practices. If I were a Buddhist who did not meditate, and did not believe in karma, that would not make it OK for me to trash those practices and beliefs.

If I were a Christian who did not see taking communion as meaningful, that would not make it OK for me to trash that observancel.

If I were a Muslim who did not abstain from alcohol or who did not pray, that would not make it OK for me to trash those observances.
Susan
St. Louis
November 17, 2014
Getting over it
Have I missed something? I don't think it has been determined that "Anonymous Las Vegas" is not a "Jew", whatever we might mean by that term. There are after all strongly held but differing opinions among Jews about how best to honour G-d... and, anyway, the word, "Jew", when used properly, should never be used as if to confer a privilege of private ownership. Nobody, Jew or non-Jew, "owns" G-d. We need to face up to that fact, and stop flaming others.
Eric Cummer
Toronto
November 16, 2014
It is really none of your business how Jews are commanded to honor Gd.
Let me get this straight.

Anonymous Las Vegas claims Jews do not understand their own Bible and so Jews are wrong to avoid spelling out the Divine Name.

Joseph objects that non-Jews have no right to tell Jews to stop expressing respect for the Divine Name. He says those who feel the need to trash Jewish practices should get over their need to demand that Jews conform to the beliefs of other religions.

Now Anonymous from the UK claims that Jews have no right to say others should get over their need to trash Jewish practices. Anonymous specifically says that this request amounts to criticizing "someone else's belief system".

I.e.,, everyone has a right to trash Jewish beliefs and practices, & if any Jew objects this, he is thereby telling members of other religions to "get over" their own belief system.
So UK says imposing non-Jewish beliefs on Jews is ok?

But asking non-Jews to get over the need to demand that Jews adopt non-Jewish beliefs--that's not ok?
Miriam
Albany
November 16, 2014
To Anonymous in UK
I did not use "get over it" about someone else's belief system. Believe whatever you like. But do get over your need to tell us how to worship and how to honor Gd's Holy Name.

I specifically referred to the pretended need to tell Jews how to express our reverence for Gd.
Non-Jews are entitled to their own belief system and their own ideas of reverence.
They are not entitled to mock Jewish reverence, or to call it merely human.

I say again, to all those who demand that we spell out the Divine Name--get over your need to tell Jews how to express reverence.You may "believe" that our reverence is "unnecessary" but it's not up to you to decide how we worship. Nor is it your privilege to tell us that your notion of our Bible is the only right one & that we don't know how to read our own scriptures or that our obedience to Gd's commandments is merely a human (and wrong) interpretation.

DO get over your need to tell us to cease honoring Gd in the way Gd commanded us.
Joseph
St. Louis
November 16, 2014
We need to respect the opinion of others, including those for whom G-d seems not to be real. However, I believe we do owe it to them to point out that G-d is real only for those prepared to be grounded in a sustainable reality. Eric, Toronto.
Eric Cummer
Toronto
November 11, 2014
To Joseph in St Louis
I believe you'll find that anyone who uses the term 'get over it' in reference to someone else's belief system is doing quite the opposite of demonstrating how to act in accord with a 'divine lifestyle'.
Anonymous
UK
November 10, 2014
God isnt real
Anonymous
place
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