1. Is there a source for not verbally (or in writing, for that matter) mentioning the name of Yeshu (the father of Christianity)?
  2. If there is such a source, what exactly is forbidden to say? Is it only the English and/or the "full" pronunciation in hebrew (i.e. with an "a" after Yeshu - please verify the validity behind this as well) and not the hebrew (as i have heard that yeshu is just an acronym for yemach shemo vezichro), or is it even the name Yeshu itself? Please include sources, preferably with links
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17301/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 18:27
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/q/89/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 18:28
  • 5
    yeshua is a name found in tanach (nechemia 8:7 for example) so there can be nothing inherently wrong with saying it as a nickname for yehoshua -- context would be key. the problem might be with the English designation as "anointed one" because that posits a fact with which Judaism disagrees so we shouldn't be condoning it by using that name.
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 18:48
  • 3
    I would avoid using Yeshua when talking about Yeshu because Jews for Jesus uses the name, so you might sound like one of them.
    – ezra
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 16:27
  • By the way, I would not say Yeshu is the father of Christianity. That title goes to Paul of Tarsus.
    – ezra
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 2:53

2 Answers 2


According to the sources cited by the Gra on Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 147:3, the prohibition against mentioning the name of a foreign deity does not apply to the name of Jesus, and in fact we find that he is mentioned by name in many sources.

In a very interesting teshuva, R' Esriel Hildesheimer discusses this issue at some length. He comments that the prohibition against mentioning a foreign god's name applies only to speech, not to writing and that the prohibition does not apply to speech for the purpose of Torah study or psak halacha.

Nevertheless, R' Hildesheimer writes that the traditional practice has been to avoid explicitly mentioning the name of Jesus (referring to him instead as oso ha'ish - "that person"), and it is proper to uphold that practice.

  • 1
    The big issur should be regarding writing Jesus with the C word because it implies endorsement. Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 23:16
  • Among Yiddish (and Yeshivish) speakers, he is often called Yoshke, i.e. "little Yeshu".
    – Adám
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 21:16

R Meir hakohen (commonly known as the hagahot maimoniyot. rambam AZ chapter 5), clearly permits mentioning his name (The Rama cites him as well YD siman 147).

כתב רא"ם שאין אסור אלא שם שניתן לה לשום אלהות שמשמע אלהות, אבל שם הדיוטות כגון שמות בעלמא כשמות הגוים אע"פ שעשאהו אלוה כיון שבזה השם אין בו אלהות ואדנות וגם לא ניתן לו לשם כך מותר. וטעמא, דכתיב ושם אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו, בשם אלהות הקפיד הכתוב. וכן תנן אלו הן אידיהן של גוים קלנדא וכו' שאלו שמות הדיוטות הם, ובכמה מקומות בתלמוד הוזכרו ישו הנוצרי ותלמידיו, ואין אלוה גוים יותר ממנו

In short, if a name of a deity is used regularly and not in the context of divinity one is permitted to invoke it. The prohibition is only when he invokes the name in the context of divinity and when it connotes a deity, but if it is just a name given to a person or object the fact that its origin is pagan is insignificant and its use is permitted. For this reason he says the sages called Jesus by his name, since it was not used in such a context.


You must log in to answer this question.

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