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Why do some say "HaShem"?
saidjake Wrote:So do we assume that the people in the Torah didn't utter the pronunciation of HaShem?

1. No. One of the meanings cited by Rashi for Gen. 4:26, "... then began (men) to call upon the name of the L-rd," is that men began to call the names of man and the names of idols by the name of HaShem [the Tetragramaton], to make themselves idols and to call them divine beings. This is one of the sins that they were punished for with the Flood.

2. For a period of time after the Flood, the nations took on numerous extra restrictions, beyond the Seven Laws, to be sure that they would avoid the sins that had caused the Flood. It appears that one of these was to avoid mundane usage of the Divine name.

3. One of the Jewish commandments given at Mount Sinai is that the Priests/Kohanim who are serving in the Holy Temple (and originally in the Tabernacle/Mishkan in the desert) are to recite a blessing upon the Jewish people, using the explicit Tetragramaton (Numbers 6:22-27). This was discontinued during the time of the Second Temple, because people had fallen to a lower spiritual level, and there was demonstrated danger that the mystical powers of this Divine name would be used for evil purposes by sinful people.

saidjake Wrote:Aren't there places where G-d tells people to call on His Name?

The only places which actually refer to commanded pronunciation of the Tetgragramaton is #3 above, which took place daily in the Holy Temple, and by the High Priest/Kohen Gadol at specific points during the Yom Kippur service in the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple in Jerusalem is refered to by G-d in the Torah as the only place where He will cause His name to dwell and be mentioned.

The other 6 holy names of G-d in Hebrew do not have that level of holiness. But they still must be respected and not used in mundane context.

saidjake Wrote:If they did know how to pronounce it, do we know when using substitutes began, when the pronunciation was lost? Thanks.

There was always the use of substitutes in mundane speech. Around the time when the vocalizing of the Tetragramaton was discontinued in the Second Temple, the rememberance of the actual name was miraculously forgotten in the general populace, and it became a kabbalistic secret.

Messages In This Thread
Why do some say "HaShem"? - by saidjake - 09-28-2007, 03:55 PM
RE: Why do some say "HaShem"? - by saidjake - 10-08-2007, 03:16 PM
RE: Why do some say "HaShem"? - by Director Michael - 10-14-2007, 04:14 PM

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