Please seriously pardon my lack of Hebrew skills.

If "א-ל" is already a shem Hashem (to the point where in many contexts we might say or write "קל" - "Keyl"), how is it OK to leave the א-ל intact at the beginning of "אלקים"? I understand that by changing ה to ק, we have changed the whole name from being an official shem Hashem, and have also broken up the potential vov // hey. But the first reason seems insufficient, because many people would redact the word even if it contained a shem Hashem, as it still does. [For examples of times when we do this, see "קלי" ("Keli") and "הללוקה" ("Hallelukah").]

Why don't we do so here?

Similar (not a duplicate): Why is the hey in Elo-* replaced with a kuf?

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    The 2 letter name you have mentioned is one of the actual names which shouldn't be erased. However, depending upon usage and context, it may not be meant as a name of G-d, but as a preposition. Also, the other name you reference does not include a 'Vav'. It only has 5 letters and has a plain sum gematria value of 86. In the form you cite it may refer to angels or a judges. Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 13:28
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    Which, now that I read §10 also, this might be a good source to include. “If he wrote קל from אלקים...it may not be erased.”
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 13:34
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    @SAH You have great Hebrew skills. What are you talking about?
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 13:36
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    @SAH he means if you start writing אלוהים and just finish two letters, then you can't erase them since they are already a name. In contrast to his next example of writing the first two letters of צבאות when if you stop early you can erase them since they aren't a name yet
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 20:03
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    @SAH No. That’s the point of §10 in the SA I quoted. Once you’ve written the lamed, you have a Name. That was my point of saying it’s a support - even if you write a ק later you already have a Name which can’t be erased. That’s a proof to your question.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


There is a minhag (which is not backed by Halachah at all, that I know of,) where some people will not say "ginger ale"; but instead say "ginger kale" for fear of mentioning "ale" which sounds like Aleph Lamed , or one of Hashem's names.

Such people can't enjoy a true IPA unless its an IPK :)

Of course this is nonesense, because "ale" is a drink and not a name of Hashem as its used.

It would be like me thinking of saying "EL" and then, worrying about possibly writing or saying a holy name, changing it to "ELK".

The E-L is still fully there. But, the word is now something similar to "MOOSE" in its entirety. The possible "EL" of "ELK" standing alone is disregarded because it has entirely morphed into a portion of a reindeer for all intents and purposes.

Your example of "Keli" or "Hallelukah" still needs a "K" because the word is only, and merely, modified by an added pronoun or a combining of two words into one. "Kel - ee" = my G-d , and Hallelu, Kah became combined into "Hallelukah".

"Elokim", however, is by itself entirely not a word anymore. So, even the beginning "E-L" has no meaning.

True, many Jews have names that include Hashem's name. And, some people do put a dash in between the appropriate letters when writing it as a custom. However, most Jews do not to my knowledge, because there is no obligation. This is because the word became someone's name and not a direct reference to Hashem's name anymore. So, it doesn't have that status.


Yisroel (someone may write it "Yisroe-l")

Yeshayah (someone may write it "yeshay-ah")

However, no one writes "Yisro-kel" or "Yeshaykah", because its someone's name, not Hashem's name.

Certainly, you never hear anyone call their friend "Yisrokel" even if they are the type to say "ginger kale" which shows why the whole thing is really inconsistent to begin with.

Finally, consider that if people get too strict about this, the phrase "elohim acherim" ("other/false gods") would end up being written with a "k" instead of an "h". But, that would certainly be forbidden to do, since it would be honoring and protecting the name used for idolatry!

That's probably one reason why Halachah is pretty clear about only not erasing a real name of Hashem.

(Some of this was already suggested by the OP)

(P.S. I do remember once seeing a Chumash in an old print from Europe, that had the word printed as "Elokim" with a "kuf" , but also fudged the "Aleph - Lamed" so as to be written a little bit merged together. If my memory is correct, there may have been some who held to the minhag the OP is in fact suggesting. :) )

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    The SA I quoted in the comments to the OP seems to disprove this.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 0:33
  • I dont see you giving a source for your S.A. quote. Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 0:56
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    Minhag? It's not just a joke?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 0:57
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    @DonielF YD 276:10 merely says that if you write E-L by itself and just stop there, (apparantly when you meant to write the whole longer name) then you may not erase it. It says nothing about erasing the E-L part of an existing longer word; like writing ELephant and then erasing just the E-L. That would be fine. Having in mind Elephant and just writing E-L, then stopping, may be a problem. But I think you would need to have had in mind Hashem's full name for this law to apply. Elokim (k) is not a name, so its just as good as elephant. Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 1:22
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    @David Even starting Elephant and stopping after El wouldn't be a problem at all.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 11:49

Sometimes אל doesn’t refer to God at all; it just means these.

For example, Dev. 19:11

הערים האל

So, I think you need not worry. However, in the time of need, you’d be able to say Ekokim, I assume.

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