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How could the numerals יה and יו be used irreverently?

I understand that we write the number 15 as tet vav as opposed to yud hey to avoid writing the shem Hashem, but what about 16? As far as I know there is no shem Hashem that is yud, vav. What am I missing?

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    May 2, 2012 at 1:01
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    If I understand, 16 as טז instead of יו is a relatively recent thing. I encounter יו in older writings all the time.
    – jake
    May 2, 2012 at 2:15
  • Like @jake I have also seen the writing yud-vav instead of tet-zayin. A quick search in Google revealed this from Sefer Harikma to Rabbi Jona Ben Ganach quoting from Yeshaya, Shemot and Yirmiya: dl.dropbox.com/u/9357916/SE/yodvav.png . Notice how the Rabbi refers to verse 16 as yod-vav but to chapter 16 as tet-zain. I don't really know why this is different but I can try and guess that it has something to do with the division of Mikra chapters being of Christian origins.
    – smichak
    May 2, 2012 at 14:28
  • @smichak, I don't think those references are actually written by Ibn Janach; more likely added in by the publisher. Check out this one though, written much later, with 16 sometimes referred to as tet-zayin and sometimes as yud-vav in the text itself, although that could also be the result of the printer changing a bunch of them to reflect the current custom, but not catching all of them.
    – jake
    May 2, 2012 at 15:01


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