Many times in Tanach, God is referred to as יהו-ה or אדנ-י. Individually, each of these is read as Adonai. However, when those two different names are mentioned consecutively, the custom is to pronounce the יהו-ה name as Elohim.

Why is יהו-ה pronounced differently when these names appear consecutively?

  • The name יהוה is really pronounced something like 'yahvah'. Substituting it for the name אדני out of respect works fine except when the name אדני is already right there when it would get confusing. So people substitute a different name in those cases. – Double AA Feb 11 '18 at 19:16
  • @DoubleAA Doesn't there have to be something more basic than "substituting [something that makes sense] out of respect"? You can get out of shema by בכל לשון, but how can the kohanim fulfill birkat kohanim without some deoraita rationale to say אדני specifically? (This is all for saying it as אדני, I can't think offhand of any אדני יהוה in the ones that have to be said in lashon hakodesh.) – Heshy Feb 11 '18 at 22:13
  • @heshy birkat kohanim is indeed supposed to be with Shem haMeforash. See Sotah 38a – Double AA Feb 11 '18 at 22:46
  • @DoubleAA ??? ובמדינה בכינויו. Are you saying it's derabbanan in the medinah? – Heshy Feb 11 '18 at 23:49
  • @heshy certainly some opinions have held that (consider how it can be Deorayta without Avoda if Tefillah is Derabanan). But anyway if you look at the Gemara I referenced they search for a special derasha to allow kinui in the medinah. So that answers your question: it's a special gezera to allow kinuyim for birkat kohanim – Double AA Feb 11 '18 at 23:50

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