Are there any halachic sources, or is there universal advice about speaking about Hashem in terms of gender?

Classical Torah sources almost exclusively speak about Him in neutral or masculine terms. It's also well known that He is beyond gender (and this question is not meant to delve into that question).

As a result, there's no theological issue referring to Him in feminine terms but perhaps there is some discussion, or rules about it? If so what are they/where are they to be found?

  • You mean pick a sex at random when you refer to God? Avinu, malkenu... HaShem Hu ha-Elokim... This would entail a lot of changes to the liturgy. Jan 2, 2023 at 16:11
  • @MauriceMizrahi we do use both genders for certain words like דרך and שמש. See Kiddushin 2a-2b.
    – Heshy
    Jan 2, 2023 at 16:12
  • @MauriceMizrahi not necessarily at random Dr. but perhaps in a kiruv setting? Is there any discussion on this anywhere?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jan 2, 2023 at 16:42
  • We speak of G-d in the "He-form" because the Shechina is called "She". See also: thetorah.com/article/the-gender-of-god
    – Shmuel
    Jan 2, 2023 at 18:23
  • 1
    Avraham used plural to refer to Hashem in a kiruv-ish context, ויהי כאשר התעו אתי
    – Heshy
    Jan 2, 2023 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


There are many halachic sources. I will mention a few. See Siddur Reb Shabsi (R. Shabi Sofer circa 1500) Hakdama Klalit Ch. 6:10. See Yashresh Yaakov (R. Yaakov Babani 1768) page 9b. See Lehem HaBikurim (R. Shaul Hakohen 1772 - 1848) 17b, and 28b. See R. Shalom Moshe Hai Gagin's commentary to Ohel Moed (R.Shmuel Yarundy) entitled Yeriot HaOhel page 84a - 84b. See also sefer Binyan Shlomo (R. Shlomo Zalman Katz 1687 - 1746). The consensus among these poskim is that one may not speak to Hashem in an exclusively female term. There are many rules as to what words are classified as such. There is also discussion about whether prayer/Tefila is subject to the same rules as Mikra/scripture.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Rebbe Mottel and thanks for this first answer. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Jan 3, 2023 at 3:41
  • Thank you, I've edited my question to follow the halacha you mention and appreciate the sources. A very warm welcome, I hope you stay
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jan 3, 2023 at 11:43

You must log in to answer this question.

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