web analytics
August 28, 2015 / 13 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

What Is Hashem’s Name?


Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Note to readers: This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

The Gemara in Kiddushin 71a says that when Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu (in this week’s parshah),zeh shemi l’olam, v’zeh zichri l’dor dor – this is my name forever, and this is my name for every generation” (Shemos 3:15), he was teaching Moshe two separate names of Hashem. Rashi explains there that this is derived from the fact that the pasuk does not say “zeh shemi v’zichri.” The Gemara says that Hashem told Moshe that He has both a name that is written and a name that is pronounced. Hashem’s written name is spelled “yud, kei, vav, kei” and His pronounced name is spelled alef, daled, vav, nun. (We will refer to this name as Adnus.)

The Brisker Rav explains that this drasha fits beautifully into the wording of the pasuk. The beginning of the pasuk, zeh shemi l’olam, refers to the written name of Hashem that is part of the written Torah – which has been and will always be around. The latter part of the pasuk, v’zeh zichri l’dor dor, is referring to the pronunciation of Hashem’s name – which is part of Torah she’be’al peh that is passed down from generation to generation.

The Brisker Rav offers another explanation as to how this drasha fits into the wording of the pasuk. In Pesachim 50 the Gemara’s drasha from the pasuk,bayom hahu yiheyeh Hashem echad, u’shemo echad” is that in Olam Haba we will read the shem Hashem as it is written. Therefore in the first part of the pasuk, which says zeh shemi l’olam, the reference is to the written name because that name will be used even in Olam Haba. The second part of the pasuk, which refers to the name that is pronounced, uses the words “l’dor dor” because it will only be in use in this world, not in the World to Come.

There is a machlokes whether Hashem’s name is considered a regular kri u’kesiv, where one thing is written but we say aloud a different word, or if the correct pronunciation of the written name that is spelled “yud, kei…” is pronounced as if it was written “alef, daled….” The Brisker Rav, in his sefer on the Rambam (Hilchos Avodah Zarah 2:7), says that the pronunciation of the spelling of the letters “yud, kei…” is not similar to a kri u’kesiv whereby the spelling has one pronunciation while we pronounce a different word. Rather, the correct pronunciation of the spelling of “yud, kei…” is Adnus.

The Rambam writes that if one blesses the shem hameforash (Hashem’s name) lashon sagi nahor (the opposite way), he is put to death by stoning. According to the Rambam, this applies to one who blesses the name Adnus. The Brisker Rav explains that this is because the name Adnus is the pronunciation of Hashem’s name.

The Chasam Sofer (hashmatos to teshuvos, Choshen Mishpat 192) disagrees with this. He writes that the name of Hashem, yud, kei…, is a kri u’kesiv, in which the spelling of the word is not pronounced; rather, a different word is recited in its place. The shem hameforash that is spelled “yud, kei…” is properly pronounced as it is written; but we do not pronounce it. We recite the name Adnus in its place as a reference to that name; it is not the actual pronunciation of the spelling of the word yud, kei… There is another name of Hashem that is spelled alef, daled…. We happen to use a different name of Hashem (Adnus) when pronouncing the name of yud, kei…. The reason why the Rambam writes that one who blesses the name Adnus is liable, as if he blessed Hashem’s name, is because there are two shemos hameforash – yud, kei, vav, kei and Adnus, which is written and pronounced alef, daled….

There is a machlokes regarding whether one is required to read a general kri u’kesiv by looking at the word or by heart. For example, the word is written as “yishgalenah” but is pronounced “yishkavenah” (Devarim 28:30). The Peri Megadim (Orach Chaim Eishel Avraham 141:9 and Mishbetzos Zahav 143:2) says that the ba’al kore need not look at the written word, for he is not reading that word; rather he is to recite the correct pronunciation by heart. The Shaarei Efraim (3:13) and Reb Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 1:32:6, and 3:43) say that one must look at the written word and recite a different word in its place.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “What Is Hashem’s Name?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Ben Cohen
Anti-Zionism’s Falling Mask
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

You may wonder, how can we be excited and joyful at a time when His Judgment, not Fatherly Love, reigns supreme?

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

We can suggest that since Hashem Himself appointed Dovid there is no question. The rules are only in place for when we must chose a king ourselves.

Perhaps a careful reading of the pesukim in the parsha will shed light on this dilemma.

The second parshah of Shema is referring to keeping the rest of the mitzvos, and there the Torah does not require that one spend all of his money in order to perform the mitzvos.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

We do not find that Pinchas was chastised for what he did; on the contrary he was greatly rewarded.

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/what-is-hashems-name/2013/01/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: