Does blasphemy in Judaism only apply to when people use the Hebrew name of god or does apply to the word god as well , by that does cursing the word god constitute to cursing gods name since god is not gods name also would someone help answer this previous question

Does using substitute such as gosh and darn and substituting them in for joe damn joe still a curse to god.? Or does it still only apply to Hebrew name

1 Answer 1


For the Rambam (based on the mishna in Sanhedrin 7:5) the formal law of blasphemy only applies to the names of God that are forbidden to be erased. The english name "God" is not one of those. Doesn't mean it is a good idea to curse it - just that it is not the subject of the halachic prohibition of blasphemy or cursing God's name.

The Rambam in MT Avodat Kochavim 2:7 writes

These are the laws which govern a blasphemer: A blasphemer is not liable to be stoned to death until he states God's unique name, which possesses four letters: א-ד-נ-י, and curses that name with one of the names of God which are forbidden to be erased [...]

One is obligated to be stoned to death for blaspheming God's unique name. [Should he blaspheme] the other names for God, he [transgresses] a prohibition.

There are those who state that one is liable [for execution] only when one blasphemes the name י-ה-ו-ה. I, however, maintain that one should be stoned to death in both instances.

and in Avodat Kochavim 2:9

Should a person curse God's name with the name of a false god, the zealous may strike him and slay him. If the zealous do not slay him and he is brought to court, he is not [condemned to] be stoned. [That punishment is administered] only when one curses God's name with another one of His unique names.

In MT Yesodei HaTorah 6:2 he defines the names not to be erased as

There are seven names [for God]:

a) The name which is written Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey. This is [referred to as God's] explicit name and is [also] written Alef-Daled-Nun-Yud.
b) [The name] El;
c) [The name] Elo'ah;
d) [The name] Elohim;
e) [The name] Elohai;
f) [The name] Shaddai;
g) [The name] Tz'vaot;

Whoever erases even one letter from [any of] these seven names is [liable for] lashes.

As myjewishlearning writes

To insult the Torah or Moses, the other prophets, or the sages of Israel is also held to be a serious offense but this is, at the most, an extension of the original blasphemy law and is not covered by the death penalty, even in theory. [...]

There is hardly any evidence that trials for blasphemy took place among Jews in post-biblical times.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .