In Ashkenazi siddurs God's name is spelled with two yuds; in Sephardi siddurs we find them spelled as YKVK with the word a-d-o-n-o-y placed inside the last "hey". Also, on occasion, God's name (YKVK) gets three extra vavs.

Is there a reason for this type of printing of God's name in Sefardi siddurs?

I am sure it has something to do with Kabbalah.

Image example of this phenomenon

  • 3
    It's a Shtikle too Kabalistic for this site. Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 1:11
  • Listen to some of Harav Mansour's Shiurim and you'll get what's going on. Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 20:17
  • @HachamGabriel, Eli Mansour? Do you have a link to the appropriate shiur?
    – Ani Yodea
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 0:36
  • I'll look Beli Neder. Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 0:52
  • 1
    I believe the extra vavs are only there as vowels. I've seen the Name spelled out with different vowels under each letter, and the vavs just seemed two special instances of that (shuruk and cholom malei). Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 0:59

4 Answers 4


I don't know about the extra Vavs (do you have an example?), but the YKVK/adonoi is fairly straightforward -- it's a reminder to have in mind both the meaning of YKVK, i.e. "G-d was, is, and will be" (i.e. G-d is above time), and the meaning of "Adonoi" -- "G-d is master of all." (And if you can't focus on both, I believe the latter intent is the most important one, given how we pronounce it.) I've seen it in some siddurim called "Kavanot Hashem" -- what to concentrate on when pronouncing G-d's name.

  • see my answer below why two yuds in ashkenazi siddurs
    – ray
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 9:19

There are 10 ways in which Hashem's name is written in sepharadi siddurim, that allude to the 10 sefirot:

  • 4 kamatzim - keter
  • 4 patachim - chochma
  • 4 tzirei'im - binah
  • 4 segolim - chesed
  • 4 sh'vaim - gevurah
  • 4 cholamim chaserim - tiferet
  • 4 chiriqim chaserim - netsach
  • 4 kubutzim - hod
  • 4 shuruqim (which adds 4 vavs to the name) - yesod
  • no vowels whatsoever, or when the vowels are those of l'olam - malchut

I've seen other combinations too, but I have no idea what they mean.

Note that when the vowels are those of Elohim, then the name is supposed to be pronounced as Elohim, not as Adonai. (Usually those follow a place where Adonai is spelled alef-daled-nun-yud.)

  • is it merely an allusion or is one supposed to have these or other kavanas when saying them?
    – ray
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 12:19
  • 1
    @ray: I think so, but that's only required if you know enough to do so. Otherwise you should focus your kavannah on the plain meaning of the words.
    – Chanoch
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 12:25

It could be to Metaken the Dinim found in the name of Hashem "Adonai" using the name "YKWK".

The idea is from Harav Mansour but the application is my own guess.


dont know about the second part of the question regarding the 3 vavs (it's kabala stuff), but for the first part:

actually they are the same

the two yuds is a short form for the shiluv of the Shem Havaya and the Shem Adnut. maybe this short hand was done in case the siddur winds up disposed not in a geniza.

Yud - Aleph - Heh - Daled - Vuv - Nun - Heh - Yud

1st and last letter is Yud-Yud

The shiluv havaya and adnut represents the yichud of the sefirot of yesod and malchut in kabala (whatever that means).

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