Names of God in Judaism

Names of God in Judaism

In Judaism there is only one God. The names of God in Judaism represent the nature of G-d according to Jewish conception of the divine nature, and of the relationship of God to the universe in general and in particular to the Jewish people. The names of God in Hebrew represent God as He is known, as well attributes of His divine aspects.

Mentioning names of G-d

Orthodox Jews constantly speak about the greatness of G-d through his names. The verse in Genesis (39:3) when discussing Joseph's slavery by the Egyptian master Potiphar, states: "and his master realized that G-d is with him (Joseph)". Rashi (one of the greatest commentators on the Tanakh) explains that his master realized it through "name of G-d that was fluent on his tounge".

The first answer you will get from an Orthodox Jew on the question "How are you?" will be "Boruch Hashem", meaning: blessed be the name of G-d (Boruch [pronounced borukh] meaning blessed, Hashem meaning the name, referring to the name of G-d). Names of G-d in Judaism are fluent in an Observant Jews language. It is very common when you hear a Jew talking about his future plans to add the words "Im Yirtzeh Hasem", meaning "If Hashem will want". In any conversation of Orthodox Jews the name of G-d or Hashem will be constantly mentioned.

Sanctity when writing and speaking G-ds name

In order to demonstrate the sacredness of the names of God, as they reflect the being of G-d, there are Jewish laws who forbid speaking or writing certain names of G-d in vain. As a mean of showing respect and reverence, the names of G-d are treated with absolute sanctity (see Mishnah Berura 5:3, and 215:19).

List of names of God in Judaism

There is one name of G-d in Judaism that may never be pronounced, except by the High Priest on Yom Kippur when he entered the holiest of the holiest place in the temple. This is the name of "Yid"-"Hey"-"Vav"-"Hey" or "Y"-"H"-"V"-"H". The meaning of this name is that G-d exists and that he always existed and will always exist. Although this name is written in all Jewish prayer books and sacred texts, it is read as a different name of G-d: A-D-O-I-N-A-Y, meaning "lord" or "owner".

Seven main names of G-d

The Talmud (Shvuot 35:1) teaches that there are seven names of G-d that are forbidden to be erased. The seven names are as follows:

  1. "Y"-"H"-"V"-"H";
  2. "A-D-O-I-N-A-Y";
  3. "E-L";
  4. "E-L-O-H-I-M";
  5. "S-H-A-D-D-A-I";
  6. "T-Z-E-V-A-O-T";
  7. "E-hy-eh - Asher - E-hy-eh".
They all reflect the nature of G-d in different aspects. These seven names are considered holy and may not be written in vain; said in vain or erased and desecrated.

Other names of God

There are many other names used in dialect of Jews for the names of G-d. I will list a few as an example: Shalom; Shekhinah; HaMakom; Eibeshter and more.

So I believe you got to know about the how the Jewish G-d is called by Orthodox Jews, and you saw a lot more about the various Names of God in Judaism, browse our entire site and learn more about Orthodox Jews!

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