web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Writing Hashem’s Name

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

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

In this week’s parshah the Torah writes about the mitzvah to destroy avodah zarah. At the same time, the Torah says not to do avodah zarah to Hashem your God. As the pasuk says: “va’avaditam es shemam min hamakom hahu, lo sa’asun kein la’Hashem Elokeichem.” We derive from this pasuk that it is forbidden to erase Hashem’s name. The Minchas Chinuch (437:6) asks the following interesting question: how can one ever write “Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei” for the name of Hashem? After one writes the first two letters, he has written one of Hashem’s names, Yud Kei; when he continues to the next letter and writes a vav, he is destroying the name Yud Kei. It should therefore be impermissible to write the name of Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei.

One way to avoid this issue is by writing the name out of order. The Minchas Chinuch says that since we do not find that it is imperative to write the name of Hashem out of order, it must be permitted. The reason why it may be permitted is that it is destruction for the purpose of writing Hashem’s name – and there is no other way to do it.

Based on this, the Minchas Chinuch explains that we can understand the Gemara in Yuma 38a. The Gemara says there that there was a man who knew how to hold four kolmusin (quills) at once and write four letters at once. But he did not want to teach this feat to anyone, and the Gemara says that he is therefore considered a rasha. The Minchas Chinuch asks why he would be considered a rasha for not teaching his amazing trick to others. Maybe we could say he was not a nice guy – but a rasha? The Minchas Chinuch explains that the Chachamim understood that it would be better if the name of Hashem (Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei) would be fully written simultaneously, as this would avoid the abovementioned problem of erasing the name of Yud Kei that is written at the beginning of the name. Of course it is permitted to write the name Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei, as the Minchas Chinuch explained. However, the Chachamim felt that if there was a better way to write it, we should utilize that way of writing it. If all the letters of Hashem’s name could be written at once, this problem would be avoided. But since this fellow did not wish to teach his feat to others, the Chachamim considered him a rasha.

The Dovev Meisharim (chelek 1, siman 18:3) quotes the Divrei Chaim that draws the opposite conclusion from the Gemara in Yuma. The Divrei Chaim says that writing simultaneously is considered out of order. By definition, in order means that it must be written in order – not simultaneously. Therefore, he says that it is clear from the Gemara that one does not need to write the name of Hashem in order.

Rav Akiva Eiger (Teshuvos Yoreh De’ah 276:11) quotes the Ginas Viradim (Orach Chaim 2:12, 13, written by the Pri Megadim) and the Shemesh Tzedakah (siman 52) that say that one must write the name Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei in order. However, the other names of Hashem do not have to be written in order. Therefore, regarding the name Elokim, since one can write it out of order one should be obligated to do so, because when it is written in order the name Kel is written first and then erased when the letter vav is written. However, we do not find that one is required to write it out of order. The same should apply to the name Elokeinu, since after one has written Elokei the letter nun will erase Hashem’s name.

The Kiryas Sefer (Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, perek 6) says that if one has in mind to write the name Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei, when he writes the letters yud and kei they do not have kedushah and one is permitted to erase them. The same would apply to the name Kel from Elokim. This can better be explained as follows: The name Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei and the name Yud Kei are two separate names. Thus, when one is writing the name Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei the first two letters are part of that name and do not yet have kedushah. So when one writes them he can continue to write the letter vav, since the first two letters do not have kedushah. One may even be able to erase the letters yud kei even if he simply changed his mind. This is because they do not have kedushah when they are written as part of the four-letter name Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei.

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.

One Response to “Writing Hashem’s Name”

  1. Tim Upham says:

    You write HaShem's name using two yods. The first time I read a Siddur in Hebrew, I saw two yods. I had to stop and think what it meant. Then I realized it meant HaShem.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Egypt vs. ISIS: Victory or Death
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

800px-Gustav_Jaeger_Bileam_Engel

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Staum-062615

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively

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

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Performing ketores outside the Beis Hamikdash, and at the wrong time is an aveirah.

Ten of the twelve spies returned with a negative report, stating that this would be impossible.

The flavor of the mon was not artificial; the mon would now consist of the actual flavors from the desired food.

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

The mitzvah that parents must give their son a bris milah is a mitzvah that they must perform for someone else – namely their son.

The Bach writes that he mentioned his insights to many of the leading gedolim and no one disproved him.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/writing-hashems-name/2013/08/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: