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It seems to me that religious Jews do not say "Oh my God" so I'm asking if there is anything wrong with saying that?

I'd also like to know if there would be an issue to say "Oh my Gosh"?

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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef expanded on the Biblical commandment “Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain” declaring that Jews may not do so in other languages as well.

This makes saying “Oh my God” or the Arabic “Ya Allah,” both popular Israeli slang terms, halachically forbidden.

He explained that the “the prohibition is against saying His name when it is not in the context of a blessing or a prayer. We prefer to be stringent and apply the prohibition to languages like English or Arabic.” https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/ovadia-yosef-jews-may-not-say-oh-my-god-or-ya-allah

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  • I'd take what a secular new agency reports (as "breaking news") in the name of a prominent Rabbi with a pinch of salt.
    – Tamir Evan
    Apr 29 '20 at 17:25
  • A better source for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's opinion on the matter would be "Mentioning Hashem’s Name in a Foreign Language" (on the Halacha Yomit website). It should be noted that there it also says: " We can also consider the opinion of the Poskim who say that there is no prohibition to mention Hashem’s name in a foreign language, for this is not the actual name of Hashem. Thus, even though Halachically speaking one should try to abstain from mentioning Hashem’s name even in foreign languages ..." (emphasis mine).
    – Tamir Evan
    Apr 29 '20 at 17:57
  • Thank you for the other link. Shall I put it instead.
    – Russell
    Apr 29 '20 at 18:27
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There are two separate prohibitions pertaining to saying God's name in vain. The first is in the עשרת הדברות:
לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת-שֵׁם-ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא

The other is an איסור עשה (positive prohibition), though I cant remember what it is at the moment. (Possibly כִּי שֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא הָבוּ גֹדֶל לֵאלֹהֵינוּ).

The former applies only to saying God's name in vain in the context of a wasted or false blessing or swear. The latter applies to any other case.
It is implied by the Gemara and explicitly stated by some acharonim that the prohibition on saying God's name in another language only applies to when one is swearing or saying a blessing in another language. This is because when you do those things in another language, you're still invoking the idea of God into your statements. However, just mentioning the word God isn't actually his name, so it's meaningless without context.

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  • Please substantiate that not taking God's name in vain has to do with the situation described. As far as I know the Rambam, and Shulchan Arukh only apply it to certain of God's name, and only in Hebrew.
    – Aaron
    Apr 28 '20 at 21:02
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I think saying the words "Oh my G-d" can be seen as taking the L-rd's name in vain in certain circumstances and not in others. For example, when in prayer.

As for "Oh my Gosh" or “gosh almighty,” my rabbi says we Jews should refrain from saying them since these terms are speaking about the Christian Holy Ghost.

He also says that saying “bloody” comes from the blood of Jesus and “knock on wood” refers to the crucifixion cross. In other words, he says that Jews accept Christian notions without realizing it and should recognize that these sayings are not Jewish, they are Christian.

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    Source please? Your first paragraph is false, as you can use His Name in non-prayer contexts (ex. have you ever wished someone שלום?), nor is it so clear that using His Name in English even counts (cf. about writing it). Your second paragraph hinges on equating "gosh" with "the holy ghost," but you don't demonstrate that that's the case.
    – DonielF
    Mar 29 '20 at 21:07
  • @DonielF My rabbi says that Jews should refrain from saying “gosh almighty” since when they do they are speaking about the Christian Holy Ghost. I do not know where he got the source. I'll have to ask my rabbi. He also says that saying “bloody” comes from the blood of Jesus and “knock on wood” refers to the crucifixion cross. In other words, he says that Jews accept Christian notions without realizing it and should recognize that these sayings are not Jewish, they are Chrisitan. About the first paragraph, I think you are write.
    – Shmuel
    Mar 30 '20 at 1:28
  • Even “my Rabbi says” is more information which is valuable to your post; would you please edit your answer to include that?
    – DonielF
    Mar 30 '20 at 2:05
  • @DonielF Ok. I will do that.
    – Shmuel
    Mar 30 '20 at 17:02
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    @NoachMiFrankfurt That's interesting. I did not know that. Thanks.
    – Shmuel
    May 21 '20 at 17:31

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