May one say the word "G-d" or "Hashem" before washing his hands in the morning? For example, to say daily affirmations before getting out of bed.

1 Answer 1


Mishnah Berurah 1:8 writes that one may recite the "Modeh Ani" prayer before washing one's hands in the morning because it does not contain any of G-d's Names, nor any kinui (idiomatic reference to G-d). The implication is that saying one of G-d's names or a kinui would not be permitted before washing hands in the morning.

Now, it seems that the English word "G-d" does indeed have the status of a kinui (see e.g. R. Akiva Eger to Yoreh Deah 276:9) and therefore should not be said before washing hands.

I would assume that the word "Hashem", which seems to have originally been formulated as a way of referring to G-d's Name without using it (see e.g. Yoma 3:8) does not even have the status of a kinui, and could therefore be said before washing hands.

However, one could argue that nowadays the word "Hashem" has actually achieved the status of a kinui (in part thanks to its popularization in ArtScroll's prayer books). This is even more likely if your intent in saying this word is in fact to address G-d. If that is the case then it may indeed also be prohibited to say "Hashem" before washing hands.

You must log in to answer this question.

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