Monday, 7 March 2011

Answer to a Question

Boker Tov:
From time to time, Mark and I are asked the question;why do you leave the O out of G-d and L-rd? I recieved this question just a few days ago and I hope the following answers the question.
The reason why many Jews leave out the O S has its origin in the third commandment, "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain" (Exo. 20:7).
Centuries later became so cautious not to break this commandment that they quit pronouncing the name of God altogether, for fear that they might say it in vain. This is why we are not sure exactly what the vowels were for the divine name of God in the Tanank (YHWH), known today as the tetragrammaton. "Yahweh" is the closest approximation we have.  There is no J in Hebrew. When a Jew would come across this name when reading the Tanank instead of saying God's name, he/she would say "Adonai," which means "Lord" or "Master." They would also use other words in place of the name of God, or even the title, "God." Even the scribes of old (and some still do)  would even write the name of God, he would first wash himself and then he would use a new pen. This is all done out of respect for the name of God and for fear of breaking the third commandment. What you see today with this hesitation even to write the title "God" is simply an outgrowth of  Jewish piety and respect for the Name of G-d. It is a tradition to avoid writing the Holy One's Name to in a casual on any medium that may be destroyed.

When we say, "Do not take the Name of the L-rd your G-d in vain," this means to "wear His Name." If we claim to follow the Holy One, how do we wear His Name?
Does this mean wearing  the word G-D on a tee-shirt or a patch on one's jeans?
When we say do not take His Name in vain, it includes what we do wear as clothing, how we treat others, how we speak to others, what we allow to come into our homes by radio and tv. It is what we read and speak about. We call this kosher; that which is fit and proper.
Muslims have similar casual traditions – they write (pbuh) which means “Peace be unto him”; and Christians capitalize Him/His as well as G-d, L-rd and the Bible.

Thanks for asking LYN.

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