If someone has a name in a foreign language which sounds like the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YKVK), is there any problem calling the person by name?

  • we do not know the proper pronounciation of this so why would there be a problem?
    – avrohom
    Jan 6, 2011 at 23:04
  • 3
    I would add what about any other name of Hashem?
    – WAF
    Jan 7, 2011 at 1:49
  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/9751/759
    – Double AA
    Feb 29, 2012 at 23:58
  • There are names in Judaism that contain one of Hashems names. Shmu-EL, El-imelech etc. I have never met a person whose names sounded like any of the other 7 names of Hashem that can not be erased. We say Ad-onai in place of the YKVK and I have never met anyone who has a name that sounds like that.
    – user1292
    Mar 1, 2012 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


Nowadays, very few (if any) people know how to correctly pronounce the Shem Hameforesh (Tetragrammaton), so it would be hard to know if someone's name is a homonym.

If it sounds like the J's Witness prononciation, then they usually mispronounce the Germanic "j" as an English "j", not properly as an English "y", so it's not even close.

If it's with the correct Hebrew pronunciation of the letters, but it's not the exact reading of the Shem Hameforesh with the vocalization, then I don't think it would be an issue, but check with your local competent Halachic authority.

  • 3
    That begs another question: since J's Witness pronunciation is not even close to the original, are we then allowed to say it?
    – Dima
    Jan 7, 2011 at 19:17
  • 4
    The Witnesses are perfectly aware that their pronunciation doesn't match the original. They don't care. And that pronunciation does not originate with the Witnesses. It's quite old. (I used to be a Witness, so I know these things.)
    – TRiG
    Jul 27, 2011 at 16:53

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