In Hebrew, writing "chaya" with all its letters would result in spelling God's name "ya". Is this okay?

How should it be spelled? With a ' instead of the hay? With a ' between the yud and the hay? Any other ways?

Moreover, if it can be written fully, does it take the status of sheimos?

I first saw the custom to seperate the yud and the hay at chabad, but to me it seems weird due to the large number of other places I feel like I've seen yud and hay together with no issue.

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    What about Yehudah, Ovadiah, Yehoshua, Yehoram? Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 4:11
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    I have heard of the custom (Chabad IIRC) to separate the yud and the hey with an apostrophe or a hyphen
    – Epicentre
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 5:00
  • @Epicentre interesting, because I ask having seen the custom at chabad.
    – andrewmh20
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 5:07
  • related: see here for a responsum from Rabbi Shlomo Aviner about writing and pronouncing the name Beit El. @NoachmiFrankfurt he mentions the names that you mention too
    – Jewels
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 11:06
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    @andrewmh20, FWIW (not much, probably), my non-Chabad rabbi wrote my name, which contains a Yud and Hey combination, with an apostrophe in place of the Hey in his inscription of a book he gave me on behalf of the Shul at my Bar Mitzvah a million years ago.
    – Seth J
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


Excerpt from this

The use of words and names like “Shmuel,” “Yeshaya,” and “Daniel” are permitted, even though two of their letters represent Hashem’s name, since the intended use is for a person’s name, not Hashem’s name. The word “Bethel” can be written, as well as Beth-El in two words. Since it is the name of a city, it does not matter how it is spelled.

See footnote (5) there. It is not linked, and they include a somewhat blurry photocopy, so I couldn't quite decipher what it says. Others are welcome to edit my answer to include it.

Note: The article is in English, so they transliterated the names. My understanding of the above quote is that they are saying that it's permissible to write the whole name in Hebrew letters without truncating or separating the letters, b/c it's not considered shaimos.

Related - There is no "Shaimos" involved in saying the name as is. My Rav relayed a story that on a date, the boy asks the girl her name, and she answers, "Bat-kah". He responds, "Nice to meet you. My name is "Kelikahu" ". It is ridiculous, no?

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    Footnote 5 in its entirety says עי' מבשנה הלכות ח"ו סי' קפ"ד
    – Yishai
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 19:06
  • Another example of this sort of thing is at judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/29089/… Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 19:19
  • For some different opinions on the name of that city, see judaism.stackexchange.com/q/13271.
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 23:57
  • I still would like to know--can you write Chaya or not? If you do--does the paper have to be put in sheymos?
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 5:00
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    @SAH FWIW, My Hebrew name is דניאל. In elementary school and high school, I used to write it דניא-ל since I thought I couldn't write God's name. A rebbi told me that it was unnecessary as I am not mentioning God's name as part of my name, and it has no "holiness" other than, of course, the "holiness" that my name identifies my being, which applies to every Jew. Logically, then, I would assume that if there is no holiness in the name, it is not "shaimos", and you can dispose of a paper that has such a name. I stopped counting how many test papers that had my name were torn up!
    – DanF
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 15:51

Old thread, but I add that I have heard (forgive me for not remembering wherefrom) that when you are writing a personal name or a word that is not supposed to be a reference to Hashem's name, it is muttar to write it even if it contains letters relating to Hashem's name because the word and intention are not to refer to Hashem's name.

My Rav writes his name containing א-ל withOUT any break. Rav Ovadia Yosef signs his name containing י-ה withOUT any break between those letters either. Signature of Rav Ovadia Yosef:

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