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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 (169)
April 24, 2014
From out of Nothing
Between G as Gadol and D as Derek, there is Ayn or Nothing. HaShem is unknowable. There are no words which can contain the infinite Nothing.
Eleazar Shlomo ben Yakov Goldman
Guanajuato, MEXICO
April 22, 2014
G-d
In writing that the 'G-d' form of a word for God is a respectful reminder that God must choose to reveal Himself to us if we are to have reliable knowledge of Him, I simply wanted to draw attention to the fact that a self revealed God is much more than just another anthropomorphic projection of ourselves, another 'god word', that is, of which, I'm sure many of you will agree, there are many. The ways that "Otherness" is revealed to us is a topic for another day.
Eric
Toronto
April 20, 2014
I have slightly different view...
I personally do not write the full name of G-d because of a respect for the omniscient aspect of the creator. I believe that G-d is all of the universe combined (and maybe beyond). Writing the name in this fashion symbolizes to me that I cannot possibly fathom all that there is to this entity called, G-d. It is a respect for G-d that shows my position in this universe. And an understanding that I there are things beyond my understanding.
Darin Cohen
Los Angeles, CA
April 20, 2014
Would they write an O over the hyphen just in order to deface Gd's name?
What do you mean? Are you saying that some people are so eager to deface Gd's Name that they would go to the trouble of inserting an "O" just so they could then flush it down the toilet?

If they want to do that, they can write it themselves and save themselves the trouble of printing out my words.

Either way, that is THEIR doing. I did not write it out. I did not occasion their bad behavior. I have free will and I abstained from taking the Name in vain. They have free will and they are responsible for what THEY do. .
Chaim
Cinncinnati
April 20, 2014
If someone is going to "deface" your article, or G-d's name, wouldn't they simply write an 'O' over the - ?

Your logic is confusing
Peter Williams
April 16, 2014
Actually it would be really easy to make a computer substitute "G-d" everwhere you typed "God". You can use either autocorrect features or find and replace features.
George
Oxford
February 25, 2014
lol
"Jewish faith is about getting in touch...without needing any proof. This is not negating intellect -- it is transcending it."

I do agree with this part: "G-d is not a logical concept"
Anonymous
February 7, 2014
G-d
It is a respectful way of acknowledging that God must reveal Himself if we are to know anything about Him. Eric
Eric
Toronto
November 24, 2013
Just turn off your spellcheck. Problem solved!!
Jeffrey Rosen
Long Islan
October 25, 2013
"a being that is thought to be omniscient and omnipotent"
Gd is not "a being".

Gd is ALL there is. Ayn od. There is NOTHING else.

It seems strange that Gd would care if people murder each other. What's it to Him? He's above all that.

If one of us wrote a computer program about "people" shooting at each other, the programmer would not hand those "people" a list of TEN commandments saying not to murder or steal.

But the Creator Whom we serve DOES care what we do and say, and said so. "Do not take the NAME in vain" is one of the TEN commandments, right up there with "No murder," "No stealing," and "No idolatry".

The reason to obey is not fear of "offending" Him. It's because we cherish Him and His Word.

Why does He care what we do? Because He wants us to be happy. He loves us all.

Why?

Go figure.
Inanna
Phoenix
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