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I have seen a lot of mention about "Hashem's Name" on this website.

I would like to know:

  1. Is it permissible for a Jew to tell a Gentile what Hashem's Name really is--what I am asking is, say, a Gentile asks a Jew what Hashem's Name is, would it be permissible for the Jew to say it then or would it be uttering it in vain, and hence a sin?
  2. Is it permissible for a Gentile to utter it.

I would appreciate answers to this question from known Rabbinic traditions and rulings, if possible.

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+1 I'll just point out that G-d has many names, different ones used for different purposes. Some are used in prayer or learning, while others are never uttered at all. Much to be said on this topic, but a comment is not the place. –  HodofHod Jan 21 '12 at 22:56
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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

In this week's Torah portion, both Par'oh (in Exodus 10:16) and his servants (in Exodus 10:7) use God's name explicitly. I don't think this proves it is permissible, but it does seem to imply that it's ok.

Additionally, gentiles use God's name in Joshua 2:9, Joshua 9:9, Samuel I 6:8 and Samuel II 24:23 to give some examples that are Post-Sinai.

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@DoubleAA, even examples after matan Tora don't prove that what the gentiles did is right, merely that they did it. –  msh210 Jan 24 '12 at 7:03
    
@msh210 Certainly in the one from Shmuel Bet it is odd that David didn't kill/repremand him if he was offended. –  Double AA Jan 24 '12 at 14:15
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It seems like this is not simply permitted, but actually very much encouraged:

  1. The Aleinu prayer looks forward to a time "when all humanity will call upon Your Name".
  2. The final quotation in the Aleinu is Zechariah 14:9: "on that day Hashem will be one and His Name will be one."
  3. Yonah 1:14-16: "Wherefore they cried unto Hashem, and said: 'We beseech Thee, Hashem [...]' [...] Then the men feared Hashem exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice unto Hashem, and made vows."

I was going to add Yeshayahu 56 but the traditional understanding seems to be that the reference is to converts, not to non-Jews.

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When the Rambam (in Kings chapters 9–10) discusses a gentile's being forbidden to curse God by name, he doesn't add that the gentile may not say God's name outside the context of a curse. I suspect, therefore, that it's permitted for him to do so. But this is weak evidence.

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