3

The Talmud (Nedarim 10b) says: Do not say "l'Hashem korban" but rather "korban l'Hashem" to avoid [possibly] saying God's name in vain.

Presumably, the fear is that you could collapse and die right after saying God's name, and so (1) will have invoked His name in vain, which is a a sin AND (2) at the time of death, meaning no opportunity for repentance.

(1) Does this imply that one should never begin a sentence with God's name?

(2) Is this why blessings begin with "Baruch atta Hashem", with God's name at the end and not the beginning? (When you address someone, you usually say their name first to get their attention.)

(3) Why do biblical verses get a dispensation? We recite many in liturgy that begin with God's name: Hashem, Hashem, kel rahum vehannun; Hashem oz l'eammo iten, Hashem yevarech et ammo bashalom; Hashem s'fatai tiftach...

  • See the Chulin 91b – Dr. Shmuel Jan 8 at 18:16
  • 2
    Are you talking about the verse ויעבר יהוה על פניו ויקרא יהוה יהוה אל רחום וחנון ארך אפים ורב חסד ואמת? That's one verse and doesn't start with God's name – Double AA Jan 8 at 20:11
  • @Dr.Shmuel Are you referring to ישראל מזכירין את השם אחר שתי תיבות וכו׳ ומלאכי השרת אין מזכירין את השם אלא לאחר שלש תיבות? I'm not sure how that's relevant here. – DonielF Jan 9 at 4:12
  • See the first mishna of the fourth chapter of yoma the shita of rabbi Yehuda – kouty Jan 9 at 10:12
  • R. Yshmael sorry – kouty Jan 9 at 10:31
0

See Ritba Yoma 39a, and before read the first Mishna in the fourth chapter of Yoma.

Mishna Yoma fourth chapter (folio 39a)

וְאוֹמֵר, לַיְיָ חַטָּאת. רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר, לֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר חַטָּאת, אֶלָּא לַיְיָ. וְהֵן עוֹנִין אַחֲרָיו, בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:

He said "for g-d Chatat"....

Ritba

והקשה הר״ר אלחנן ז״ל לת״ק היאך אומר לה׳ חטאת דהא אמרינן בנדרים דלא לימא איניש לה׳ קרבן אלא קרבן לשם דילמ׳ פשע ואמר לה׳ ולא אמר קרבן ונמצא מזכיר שם שמים לבטלה. ותירץ ר״י ז״ל דשאני הכא דגלי קרא דכתיב אשר עלה עליו הגורל לה׳ והדר ועשהו חטאת. א״נ דהתם מדרבנן בעלמא הוא אבל הכא בכהן גדול דזריז ולא פשע. ועוד שהרי יש שם הסגן ואב ב״ד דמדכרי ליה לו'. ועוד נ״ל והוא הנכון דהתם הוא דכי אמר לשם ותו לא איכא שם שמים לבטלה אבל הכא כי לא אמר חטאת ליכא שם שמים לבטלה כי מה שאמר לה׳ הוא סיום הגורל לומר כי מה שעלה בימינו הוא לה׳ וכדברי רבי ישמעאל. אלא שגזרת הכתוב הוא לת״ק שיאמר חטאת ולפי דברי התוספתא אין כהן גדול אומר כן אלא הסגן

The Rabbi Rav Elchanan asks, how is he allowed to say "Lashem Chatat", the Gemara in Nedarim advices not to say "Lashem Korban" because we are worry he will say "Lashem" and not add "Korban" and the result would be that G-d's name has been said in vain (Nedarim 10.1 And why not say korban laShem? - Lest one say laShem without korban, and thus utter the Divine Name in vain.). And Rabenu Yitschak answered that here we have an exception to the rule (in Avodat Yom Hakippurim), the verse tells (Leviticus 16.10) "the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell", and says afterward "and offer him for a sin offering". And he answered a second answer, the Cohen Gadol is not alone, there are Deputy Hight Priest and the Ministering Family who can remember him if he forgot to say Chatat. And Tosfot (the author is the Mordechai) gives a third answer, the right answer in his opinion, that generally when someone says "Lashem" and no more there is a vain mention of the name of G-d, but here, even if he says "Lashem" and nothing more because the mention of the name of g-d is the end of the lot. As he says that what he take in his right hand is for the g-d, as it is the case for Rabbi Yishmael. The fact that for Tana Kama he needs to say "Chatat" is only a consequence of the verse. …

So, according to the question of the Tosfot (and the answers doesn't contradict it), one should never say a sentence beginning by the Name of God.

Regarding the question about verses, obviously, Prophets say what g-d said them to say and there is no prohibition because they pronounce the name of g-d following the order of g-d.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Why is the first word special in this analysis? Would the same logic require that every sentence involving G-d's name be structured so that it were abandoned just after that name it would constitute a meaningful sentence? – Chaim Jan 9 at 23:13
  • It's a proof of a meaningful speaking. And, aside, we are telling about two words sentences in the Gemara nedarim and in the ritba here, you can call it last word. I can add the anyway the more you are far from the beginning, the more you will probably reach a meaningful speaking – kouty Jan 9 at 23:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .