YHVH = haShem

Ruthy & Baruch alster at comandcom.com
Tue Aug 24 16:39:24 EDT 1999

Ben Crick wrote:

>  I am no expert; but to me YHWH *is* the Personal Name, and not the
>  of God. Exodus 6:3 seems to classify El Shadday as the Title; and YHWH
>  the personal Name (SheMiY YHWH). In spite of Exodus 6:3 implying that
>  God was "not known by my name YHWH"; yet from the birth of Enos to Seth
>  in Genesis 4:26, "then began men to call upon the Name of YHWH" LiQ:Ro'
>  B:SheM YHWH.
>  When I was in west London, I went to some Passover lectures by the Rabbi
>  at Ealing synagogue. He consistently used the word HaShsheM as a Q:re'
>  for YHWH when reading from or referring to the TeNaCh (not 'a:DoNaY).

As the Tetragrammaton is God's "Personal Name", it is considered too holy
to pronounce today.  Before the destruction of the Temple, it was used
there.  During prayer, ':ADONFY is used as a substitute.  (On the
connection between ':ADONFY and the Biblical meaning of Y-WH, see - in
Hebrew - Yoel Bin-Nun, "Being as Dynamic and as State in the Bible - the
Literal Meaning of the Name of God", _Megadim_ 5, 1988, pp. 7-23.)  In
everyday speech today, however, even this substitute is considered too
holy, and "Hashem" is used.
> > On a related topic, can anyone explain how Shem can also be used for
> > 'Semite' !(ben'ey Shem). How did this derivation from Noah's son come
> > mean both Semetic people as well as a term defined as "the name." ? Was
> > this some kind of odd mixup with the Hebrew or is it from some other
> > greater reasoning?
>  Again I'm not an expert: but there may be a simple homophone here. The
>  root Sh-M-H provides us with the dual noun ShaMaYiYM, the skies, or
>  heaven. Hence, could HashSheM denote "the Heavenly One"?

Since Hashem is a substitute for the Holy Name, it just means "the Name".


Baruch Alster
Kochav Ya`akov, Israel

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