The name of God in Judaism. Why can't you pronounce it?

In many religious world teachings, the main deity has a name. This name is sung in laudatory hymns, by this name they turn to God in prayers. But in Judaism, the situation is completely different. In Judaism, God has no name.

A name is a self-name, a definition of an entity. But the essence of God cannot be understood. And even more so, it cannot be determined.

name of god in judaism

The name of God in Judaism

Judaism is the religion of the Jews, the name of which comes from the name of the son of the biblical patriarch Jacob (Israel) - Judah. There are many names of God in the Torah, but they are all fake.

The holy book of Judaism TaNaH includes the Torah of Scripture and the Prophets. For Christians, this collection is called the Old Testament. In Shemot Rabba 3 (Exodus, chapter 3) it is said that the Most High is sometimes called:

  • By God: when he judges his creations;
  • By the Lord of the Hosts: when it goes to war against the attackers;
  • God Almighty: when he seeks for the sins of man (hosts);
  • a-Shem (the unpronounceable name of God in Judaism, consisting of 4 letters): when the world has mercy.

Hasham literally translates as "name." This is a euphemism that is used instead of the name Adonai and Elohim. Usually not used during religious services or prayers.

Thus, all the names of the Almighty describe his actions, but not of himself. That is, his names only mean how, from which side he is revealed to people.

holy book of judaism

Shem Hetzem

Despite the fact that all rabbis agree that it is impossible to pronounce the name of God in vain, in the holy books there is still one proper name of God. Shem Hetzem. But this name does not determine the essence of the Almighty. This is the four-letter name Yud-Kay-Vav-Kay (Everlasting).

This name only indicates one of the qualities of the Almighty. Namely, that it exists forever and never changes. This name indicates a striking difference between the Almighty and his Creation. Any creation exists because it was his will, but he himself does not depend on anyone or anything, always existed and will always exist.

Out of respect for this four-letter name, he is not pronounced as it is written. Instead, the Jews call the Almighty Adoya (Lord). The Shmot Rabbah states that the Jewish god will not leave unpunished anyone who says his name aloud in vain. In addition, the ancient Jews could not allow the Gentiles to hear the name of their god, since it could be defiled.

holy book of judaism

El, Shaddai and Shalom

The Jewish god has many names. For example, the oldest Semitic designation of God was "name" El. It corresponds to Arabic Ale, Akkadian Il, Canaanite Ile (El). This term most likely originated from the root yl or wl, which means "to be omnipotent." In the Canaan pantheon, El is the head of all gods. In the Bible, El often appears as a household name and is often preceded by a certain article, for example ha-El, "this God." Sometimes an epithet is added to El, for example: El Elion - the Most High or El Olam - the Eternal God. El-Shaddai, or the simpler form of Shaddai means "God Almighty."

The welcome word "Shalom", which means "Peace", is one of the existing epithets of God. The Talmud states that the name of God is "Peace."

Fear guardian of faith

In addition to officially existing prohibitions, there are also internal prohibitions. After the Babylonian story, Jews began to have superstitious fear, which is why the name of God is not pronounced in Hinduism. The Jews fear that by uttering his name they might inadvertently offend him and incur God's wrath.

The ancient Egyptians also influenced the formation of Jewish beliefs. In Egyptian mythology, it is said that one who knows the name of a deity can influence him with the help of magical practices. The name of God in Judaism has been hiding since ancient times. However, a ban on pronunciation was not formed immediately. It has been formed over time. The Jews were very afraid that the Gentiles would hear Jehovah's name and be able to harm them. Out of this fear, a magical doctrine related to the pronunciation of names was born. This is Kabbalah.

The famous philosophers of antiquity, Philo and Flavius, argued that those who pronounce Jehovah's name in vain and at the wrong time are worthy of death. It is strange that in those days, Judea was under the rule of Rome and it would be unlawful to carry out the death sentence.

name of god

Name of God and Kabbalah

In Kabbalah, 72 names of God are indicated. These are 72 letter combinations from the 14th chapter of Rabot's Gear. 72 ways to become like a god. These combinations are capable of influencing reality.

Is there some kind of abracadabra? Not really. And by the way, this expression from Hebrew more precisely sounds like "Abra Kedabra", which means "I Create, as I say." But the true name of God in Judaism is not indicated even in Kabbalah.


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