Question:

I came to your site to read up on Ruth. I began reading and when I saw "G‑d" I had to stop. You may consider this harmless in Jewish terms, but anyone coming to this site will probably take this as I did. It is considered damning the very name of G-o-d to leave out the "o". I wish I could concentrate on your articles but every time I try to substitute the word God for G‑d I get totally turned off.

Answer:

Hi, I received your comment and want to explain exactly why we do this. According to Jewish law and tradition, the various names for our Creator are all considered holy and must be treated with the utmost respect. If there is a paper with the name written out in full, then it cannot be thrown away, but actually we take all such papers and bury them properly in the ground and keep them separate from other things (see Proper Disposal of Holy Objects). Clearly many readers print out our material. We cannot have a situation where they read the article and then throw it in the garbage with the word with the "o" as that is disrespecting His holy name. It is therefore traditional to insert the dash so that there is no issue.

Hope this explanation suffices for you.

See also Why Don't You Spell Out G‑d's Name?

Sara Esther Crispe
Editor, TheJewishWoman.org