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שולחן ערוך יורה דעה סימן קמ''ז says that it is forbidden to even mention the name of an עבודת כוכבים. Assuming that "Jesus" counts as this, is one allowed to say the name of the country "El Salvador"?

This question is based on the fact that "El Salvador" is referring to Jesus as "the saviour" according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Salvador.

The reason this is unique is that this is the name of a place, which leads me to believe that this might be different to סתם mention Jesus's name.

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As analyzed here (in the context of a different city) and citing Rav Yehuda Henkin, shlit"a, mentioning the name as is seems problematic:

Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin (ibid.) suggests that although the Shulchan Aruch rules that one may not say the name of a deity “whether it is necessary or not”, there are certain circumstances when it is permitted. Rabbi Henkin argues that there are three possible circumstances for one to use the name of a deity: 1) one uses it as a landmark (e.g. meet me near this avodah zarah), which shows honor to the deity because one could have easily chosen a different landmark; 2) one who says the name for no reason whatsoever, which would be prohibited because it is totally unnecessary; and 3) one who refers to the name of a deity for identification purposes in the course of normal conversation simply because there is no other way to refer to the city or place in question than by mentioning its name. Rabbi Henkin argues that the Shulchan Aruch only intended to prohibit the first and second types of mention, but not the third. After all, he argues, what is one who wants to relate an experience that took place in such a city supposed to do? The only way to express himself is by using the name of the city. This is different than using the avodah zarah as a landmark because one could have just as easily used a different landmark for the meeting place.

Considering the absence of this leniency from all of the classical poskim, it is very difficult to rely on. Indeed, Rabbi Henkin himself seems unwilling to rely on this leniency for a deity that is still in existence and worshipped. Furthermore, the Gemara asks how it was permissible to identify the city in which Ulla slept by its, name which is after an avodah zarah. The Gemara answers that the avodah zarah the particular city was named for is already mentioned in the Torah. The Gemara noticeable does NOT answer that since there is no other way to identify the city, it is permissible.

Contextually, that the name of the city is an honorific, would seem to be even more of a problem than had it been the idol's actual given name. (This would seem to be the case as well with the many cities/states the world over named after saints.)

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    "Salvador" isn't the name of a deity though. It's more analogous to the word "Messiah" which Jews use regularly even if not in reference to the person other religions believe is the Messiah. – Double AA Oct 20 '17 at 14:32
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    Note that the Torah references the place בעל פעור as a place name even though it is the name of an idol. – sabbahillel Oct 20 '17 at 20:29
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    @DoubleAA That was the point of my last paragraph. (I think it's pretty widely understood who "The Savior" is referencing.) – Loewian Oct 22 '17 at 0:50
  • @sabbahillel I believe the gemara explicitly explains that the prohibition does not apply to gods mentioned in Scripture. – Loewian Oct 23 '17 at 1:44
  • "El Salvador" simply means "The Savior" (masculine) in Spanish. Everyone knows that it refers to this one specific guy, but there is nothing in the grammar or vocabulary of the language that requires this to be so - it is inherently just a title. In theory, a lifeguard who rescues a child from drowning in a pool could be nicknamed "El Salvador", though a few Spanish-speaking devout Christians might be offended. – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Apr 11 '18 at 22:56

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