What is the halachic stance on the Tetragrammaton transliterated into English as YHWH or Yawheh or Jehovah? Is it accurate to use the English letters YHWH as the Hebrew equivalent? We see this combination of English letters is very common these days but is it correct?

I've never heard any Orthodox Jew pronounce Hashem's name using these English letters.

  • Why the down vote? – Ephraim77 Oct 21 '19 at 22:24
  • As the Talmud in Sanhedrin (90a) states that "one who pronounces the ineffable name of God as it is written, with its letters" has no share in the world to come, you may not find many people here who are interested in exploring this question with you or figuring out the boundaries of what you propose. – Mordechai ben Yosef Oct 22 '19 at 2:34
  • @MordechaibenYosef I presume you were the down vote? – Ephraim77 Oct 22 '19 at 16:34
  • No, I was actually not. Unfortunately people downvote on this site and leave no feedback. – Mordechai ben Yosef Oct 23 '19 at 1:20
  • @MordechaibenYosef Thank you. I wasn't proposing anything beyond what is face value. I see YHWH all the time and simply wondered if it's halachly accurate or just a misguided attempt to transliterate. – Ephraim77 Oct 23 '19 at 17:48

At lease according to some rishonim, any language other than Ancient Hebrew is not truly a language but rather an agreed upon method of communication (see the Ran in his commentary in the beginning of Masecta Nedarim, as well as the Raavad on the Rambam's hilchot kriyat shema 2, 10).

According to the aforementioned opinion, using English letters (or any other language for that matter) will never be accurate. Despite not being accurate, if it is the agreed upon way of spelling the Tetragrammaton, which it seems to be, pronouncing it should be prohibited according to the opinion of the Rambam (ibid.) that one may recite kriyat shema in any language.

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