13 votes
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Is there a halachic problem with the Columbia University seal on the floor of the library?

The Chavos Yair Siman 16 at the end of the tshuva writes that the coins from Sweden which had the Shem HaShem on it are not considered kodesh since it was made for mundane purposes and the *Mishna ...
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13 votes

Is there a halachic problem with the Columbia University seal on the floor of the library?

My father, who works at Columbia received a psak that the University branded calendars and such require geniza because of the logo on the cover. Presumably this would imply it is forbidden to walk on ...
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  • 5,221
12 votes

BS"D in the bathroom

R. Moshe Feinstein has a responsum about writing ב"ה in a letter. While he notes that it could potentially lead to issues because the ה is a letter of God's name and it is also meant to refer to God, ...
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11 votes
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Does braille go to sheimos?

Rav Zilberstein writes in Veha'arev Na (page 441), that sheimos written in Braille require placement in sheimos, as they are read by a wide audience of blind people. Challenge: May divrei Torah ...
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11 votes
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In the Talmud, how is the Tetragrammaton rendered?

The Babylonian Talmud has both Aramaic and Hebrew in it. In the handwritten versions which I reviewed, the 4 letter name of hashem is replaced with the yod-yod. You can see this in the quotes from ...
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10 votes
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Writing the name chaya

Excerpt from this The use of words and names like “Shmuel,” “Yeshaya,” and “Daniel” are permitted, even though two of their letters represent Hashem’s name, since the intended use is for a ...
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9 votes
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What does it mean to take God's name in vain?

The 3rd commandment is not to take a pointless oath in G-d's name (e.g. swearing that a table is a table, and other pointless oaths, see ch 1) as is codified by Rambam (Hilchos Shvuos) and Sefer ...
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  • 7,420
9 votes

Saying ביצה versus ביה

The Magain Avraham (O.C. 156) quoting the Yam Shel Shlomo says that it is to not say something disgusting (and it should be said in general, not specifically about the Mesechta name). The Teferes ...
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  • 31.3k
9 votes

Would a Jew violate the prohibition to pronounce the name of YHWH by saying "Yahweh" and/or "Yehowah"?

Rabbi Ari Enkin wrote a couple of articles about this explaining why pronouncing these words would not be problematic. In the first, a book review, he writes: There is also an especially ...
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  • 6,097
7 votes
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Why is Yaakov later willing to say אלוהי יצחק?

Rashi himself asks and answers this question! On 32:9, he writes that his purpose is to provide a direct quote of Hashem for the sake of his argument/plea: ואלהי אבי יצחק: ולהלן הוא אומר (לא מב) ופחד ...
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7 votes

How do we know how to pronounce God's name?

The Gemara in Pesachim 50a brings a verse that Hashem's name is not pronounced the way it is written. ר' אבינא רמי כתיב {שמות ג-טו} "זה שמי לעלם וזה זכרי לדור דור". ‏ אמר הקב''ה: לא כשאני ...
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7 votes
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Are there any fonts that allow for the name of Hashem to be typed the way it is in Sephardi siddurim?

Yes, here are screenshots of Windows Character Map showing DBS-Frank, DBS-Keren DBS-Stam, and DBS-Vilna:
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  • 6,424
7 votes
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Erasing the word "eloheinu"?

Still prohibited. The general rule is (Yesodei HaTorah 6:3, YD 276:9) prefixes conjugated to one of God's names are permitted to erase while suffixes are prohibited (without statutory punishment). The ...
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  • 95.3k
7 votes
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Why is the final Heh in Ha'Shem's name different in K'thav Chabad/Alter-Rebbe?

Good eye! You're noticing a Kabbalistic practice called כתיבת השם בחילוק writing God's name by parts. I won't begin to pretend to understand it, but those who practice it write the different limbs of ...
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  • 95.3k
6 votes

When blogging/emailing/etc., do I use "God" or "G-d"?

I heard from a student of R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik z"l that whether a translation of God's name into English or another language, has the status of a shem or not, replacing a letter with another ...
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  • 34.8k
6 votes

Divine Names for Judgement and Mercy

One early source is Bereishis Rabba 12:15: ה' אלהים . למלך שהיו לו כוסות ריקים, אמר המלך אם אני נותן לתוכן חמין הם מתבקעין, צונן הם מקריסין. ומה עשה המלך? ערב חמין בצונן ונתן בהם ועמדו. כך אמר הקדוש ...
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6 votes
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Basis for not doing a full sof-aliya trop on Hashem's name

You asked: Is there any basis in halacha or firmly established minhag for this, or is it merely a personal quirk of a few people? According to Rav שמואל פנחס גלברד it's a Minhag originating in ...
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6 votes
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Is there a source for Og throwing a mountain?

It comes from Devarim Rabba 1:24 in the name of Rabbi Yochanan commenting on Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachman.
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6 votes

Not verbally spelling Hashem's names

Chayei Adam 5:27 writes the following (emphasis mine): ההוגה השם באותיותיו אין לו חלק לע"הב דהיינו שקורא השם בנקודותיו כמו שהוא נקוד היו"ד בשב"א והה"א בחולם והוא"ו בקמץ (ול&...
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  • 6,683
6 votes
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What name did the Kohen Gadol Say?

According to the Rambam the Kohen Gadol pronounced the 4-letter name, see MT Avodat Yom haKippurim 2:6 Thus he mentions God's explicit name ten times on this day. On all occasions, he recites the ...
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  • 43.5k
6 votes

Is the English "YHWH" a valid equivalent to the Tetragrammaton?

At lease according to some rishonim, any language other than Ancient Hebrew is not truly a language but rather an agreed upon method of communication (see the Ran in his commentary in the beginning of ...
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6 votes

Where is G-d's name in Megillat Esther?

Let's do one better: where is G-d's name concealed in all of Tanach? I'm looking for שם הוי"ה backwards and forwards, equally spaced from the beginning and end of four consecutive words (first letter,...
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  • 8,790
5 votes
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Is the phrase הקדוש ברוך הוא gramatically incorrect?

I have no source for this answer besides for my understanding of Hebrew. I'm pretty sure that there's an implicit (elliptical [h/t Yishai]) object here. We see this by the use of the definite article ...
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5 votes
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Can Holiness Be Retroactively Withdrawn?

See on this Rav Menachem Kasher's long article in Torah Shleyma vol. 29, and specifically section 1 chapter 6, which is on exactly this question. I'll try to summarise: Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Peirush ...
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  • 8,651
5 votes

How do we know how to pronounce God's name?

The word you're referring to is not actually a pronunciation of the tetragramaton; it's a substitution. Traditionally, the tetragramaton was pronounced (with its real pronunciation, I mean) by the ...
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5 votes

What are the reasons or rules for the different variations in vowels on the Tetragrammaton?

The divine name YHVH is always an instance of Qere and Ketiv. The convention used for representing Qere and Ketiv is to give the consonants of the written word but point the consonants with the vowels ...
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  • 4,811
5 votes

Explanation of kri u-khtiv vowel for first letter of tetragrammaton

The niqqud we use today is that of the Tiberians. The default pronunciation of the shewa naʿ in the Tiberian tradition was identical to the pronunciation of the ḥataf pataḥ, and took on other ...
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  • 3,416
5 votes
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How does saying "pasim" help us safely enunciate the name of Hashem?

If you open for example the Artscroll siddur (in my case p. 698 of the Ashkenaz-English version), you'll see that there's a 22 letter Divine Name hidden in it that is not read, but just scanned with ...
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  • 7,005
5 votes

Burying sheimos is a segula for a pandemic?

See Source for eulogizing for sheimos? for the 4 sources he brought for this. He finished the hesped with the following quote from the Sefer Mat'amim, p. 190 (couldn’t find the sefer on the Otzar ...
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