I recently made a brachah on a mandarin. An acquaintance, who's not Jewish, responded enthusiastically to hearing the name of G-d that begins with "Ad...", and proceeded to wax poetic on it, mentioning it a few times.

He wasn't necessarily being irreverent, but he did mention the name a few times, something which I've learned is forbidden for a Jew to do casually - the most casual permitted context being, "while learning to pronounce it".

Does a non-Jew risk damaging their soul by pronouncing shemot kodashim that are only not pronounced in informal contexts by way of chumra, like a Jew does?

Or am I perhaps overestimating the severity of them doing so?

The best I could come up with, was to tell him to please just stick to only thinking the name, not pronouncing it and instead saying "HaShem" when referring in speech to any specific shem kodesh. But I didn't give a reason so it is unlikely to "stick".

(And yes, the suggestion to use "Aloshi" and "Adoshi" is helpful, but is one step beyond my question.)

  • Presumably your friend was not taking in Hebrew but about Hebrew and the use of substitute words. Would you be happier if he said in English that Jews often used "the Lord" as a substitute for the Tetragrammaton and you replied that that usage too had later become a concern, and using "the Name" was now preferred?
    – Henry
    Nov 5, 2020 at 9:50
  • I was told to use Adoshi and Eloshim. They are Reform Jews. I don't know if that is adequate for Conservative and Orthodox.
    – Perry Webb
    Nov 5, 2020 at 10:12
  • I have a Catholic friend, who claimed that they still had a ban on pronouncing Divine Names (at least the Tetragrammaton), and he was appalled to hear it in a Protestant church being pronounced. Also when learning Tanakh in Hebrew, they avoid pronouncing it. Nov 6, 2020 at 7:58
  • @Henry my acquintance was pronouncing the explicit name of G-d from the world of Assiyah which begins with AD. Not "the Lord", I don't know where your presumptions come from. Christianity is outside the picture. I know how to tell him to say "HaShem", I wrote I did this in my post. Does it matter if he says that name or not? If it does, how can I explain that to him?
    – וילם
    Nov 6, 2020 at 22:26


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