What is the rationale in suggesting that a person who wishes to pray to Hashem outside the context of formal communal prayer, that they may not use Gd's name in doing so?

This seems to me to go against most of the examples of prayer we find in Tanach and the Talmud, as well as Chasidic custom.

Inspired by this question.

  • 1
    Where have you seen such a suggestion?
    – msh210
    Jan 15, 2012 at 8:15
  • In the question I linked to...
    – avi
    Jan 15, 2012 at 8:26
  • I think that that question is referring only to sh'mone esre.
    – msh210
    Jan 15, 2012 at 8:35
  • Seems to be saying that mentioning Gd's name many many times is an issue.
    – avi
    Jan 15, 2012 at 9:05
  • 1
    I agree that it is unclear what the linked questioner meant by "many many times". AFAIK, women can pray any or all of the three daily prayer services, if they so choose (and according to Rambam and others, women have an actual obligation to engage in some form of prayer daily). If "many many times" means shemoneh esreh, it's not an issue. If it means personal prayer (hisbodedus, informal voluntarily prayer etc). - I don't know of anyone who says Ado-shem during that. G-d, Hashem, Father, Abba, L-rd, are more commonly used - but I don't have a source that forbids use of Ado-shem for this.
    – user1095
    Jan 15, 2012 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


It is my understanding that it is entirely permissible;

It is permissible, however, to invoke the Name of Hashem to praise or to give thanks to Him. Similarly, it is permissible to call on the Name of Hashem in the context of private supplication. The familiar יהי רצון מלפנך ה' אלקינו as a prelude to prayer is acceptable and does not constitute uttering the Name of Hashem in vain (Rabbi Forst, The Laws of B'rachos, p. 48, with the footnote "Tosfos Chaim on Chayei Adam 5:7 citing the Magen Avraham 188:11. See Sefer Chassidim cited in M.B. 5:3")

(I believe that the issue in the question referenced is not, strictly speaking, one of a beracha l'vatala (a blessing in vain) but rather a berachah sh'aina tzirchah (an unnecessary blessing, using G-d's name in a formal blessing which was redundant or not obligatory), see ibid, page 55 for a better presentation.)

  • What is the difference between a formal blessing which is not needed, and a private supplication? And why do you think the difference bewtween bracha l'vatal and beracha sh'aina tzirchah is relevant?
    – avi
    Jan 3, 2014 at 13:32

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