The name of God In Judaism

Salim Syed

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Peace be upon you,

In Islam the name of God is 'Allah' (Arabic). What do Jews call God in Hebrew ? I was told Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) spoke Hebrew and God in Hebrew is Eloha. Is this correct ?

I know some Christians call God Jehova but I was told there is no letter in Hebrew that represent the sound of 'J'. So Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) could not have called God Jehova.

I was also told that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) spoke Aramiac (a dialect of Arabic) , and God in Aramiac is Alaha.

All three languages are semitic and share a common root, which to me makes sense as the name of God in the three semitic religions would be Allah, Alaha and Eloha (very close in sound).

Thanks for your prompt reply
 

capthowdy

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If I'm not mistaken there are many names....Eloha, Elohim, Adonai, Yhvh, Yhwh.....and all these names are a part of a bigger name refered to as the Tetragrammaton...(the name of god, or the 72 letters of the tree of life).........hope that helps you..
 

mansio

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Hello Salim Syed,

Jews have several names for God : Yhwh, Elohim, Eloah, the latter being seldom used (it may be a singular of Elohim but I'm not sure).

As to the comparison of Hebrew Elohim, Aramaic Elaha and Arabic Allah, one thing mustn't be overlooked : the Arabic word Allah is the contraction of al-Ilah. Linguistically speaking, only the form Ilah, or its remnant -Lah, can be compared with the others.
The endings -ohim, -aha or -ah are suffixes. The common root of the names for God (except Yhwh) is 'L which is usually pronounced El.

So El or Elah or Alah (not Allah) could be the common name for God in the three languages.
 

Salim Syed

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Thanks for that,

The Arabic word 'Allah' is made up of 'Al' + 'Ilah' where Ilah = God/Diety and Al=the definate form.

When joined in the Arabic language this becomes 'Allah'.

(I think this is correct).

I was more curious to know what Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) called God in Hebrew.

Thanks
 

Salim Syed

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How is YHWH pronounced ? Are this the root alphabets without vowels ? What do the Jews who speak Hebrew today call God ?

Thanks
 

Salim Syed

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capthowdy said:
If I'm not mistaken there are many names....Eloha, Elohim, Adonai, Yhvh, Yhwh.....and all these names are a part of a bigger name refered to as the Tetragrammaton...(the name of god, or the 72 letters of the tree of life).........hope that helps you..

Thanks

I think Tetragrammaton is just a big word for a 'four letter word'. Hebrew like Aramaic and Arabic consists of root letters and this YHWH must be root letters I think.
 

pohaikawahine

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interesting .... the hawaiian word for love is 'aloha' which sounds a like like 'eloha' and its inner meaning is connected with a more spiritual meaning .... literally it is an exchange of breath .... but I was reading this sweet little story "It is the Silence Between the Notes that makes the Music" in a book called "Jacob the Baker ... Gentle Wisdom for a Complicated World" by Noah ben Shea


"One evening, in the late quiet of the bakery, Jacob stood next to a stack of bread boards freshly powdered with dry cornmeal. He touched his right forefinger to his lips and then with the same finger began drawing a repetitive image in the cornmeal.

Jacob was drawing the Hebrew letter alef, the silent, first letter in the alphabet.

His finger moved absently, stroking the downward open line at the backbone of the sacred form.

He drew row upon row, transforming the blank bread board into a Hebraic mandala, a staircase for his soul.

Focusing on the pattern opened what was closed, and the absent sound of the silent alef beckoned him, drew him in.

Then, without warning, the lights went on in the other end of the bakery. It was Samuel, and he was startled to find someone still there.

"Is that you Jacob? Are you all right?" There was real concern in Samuel's voice.

Samuel's focus caught o the design Jacob had marked in the cornmeal. Samuel was perplexed.

"Jacob, why do you draw this letter alef over and over again?"

"Because," said Jacob, "it is the silence between the notes that makes the music; it is the space between the bars that holds the tiger."

(the story continues and ends with ..."

When the silence was renewed, Jacob swept his hand across the bread boards, like a tide's wash, erasing the patterns in the corn-meal."

Perhaps the name is not to be spoken, it is found in the silence between the notes and the space between the bars. This is the place we seek in meditation or deep prayer .... just my thoughts to share... he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine
 

capthowdy

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Salim Syed said:
How is YHWH pronounced ? Are this the root alphabets without vowels ? What do the Jews who speak Hebrew today call God ?

Thanks


Yahweh, which roughly translates to "creator of man"

And I'm not entirely sure what the Jews today call god, I only studied the Kabbalah
 

capthowdy

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Salim Syed said:
Thanks

I think Tetragrammaton is just a big word for a 'four letter word'. Hebrew like Aramaic and Arabic consists of root letters and this YHWH must be root letters I think.


YHWH and YHVH, are just two of the four words that make up the tetragrammaton
 

Faustus

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Don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but the one I hear most often is "Hashem," which just means "the Name." Because according to traditional Jewish law (halacha), you're not supposed to use the "official" name of God in contexts other than prayer, a lot of people use it as a sort of nickname, for lack of a better word. It gets inserted for the tetragrammaton in situations like children practicing their prayers (you're not supposed make a bracha- say a blessing- extraneously, or without reason, but if you don't use the "real" name of God, it doesn't count), non-Jews who are converting practicing prayers and so on. The circles I move in tend to be Chabad and other Orthodox groups, so they adhere more to these kinds of rules than, say, Reform might. Which isn't a bash on Reform at all (I'd say my own observance is Reform/Conservative), but the different denominations have different ways of doing things.

The idea of not taking God's name in vain or using it unnecessarily is why you sometimes get people writing "God" as "G-d." A piece of paper with God's name on it (or any religious writings) immediately becomes holy and has to be disposed of in a certain way- rabbinic opinions are divided about how this works on a computer and whether it applies to non-Hebrew writing, though. You can probably find more on this if you googled "genizah."

Jeez, long post. Hope some of that was useful.
 

mansio

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I agree with Faustus as of the modern ways of saying God in Judaism.

The pronunciation of the word Yhwh is a problem for scholars. Because of a taboo it got lost. For reading aloud the name was replaced by an equivalent like Elohim. To remind of that the vowels of Elohim were put under Yhwh.

In the Middle Ages Christians mistakenly thought Yhwh had to be pronounced with the vowels of Elohim.
That's the origin of the wrong spelling Jehovah. At that time the Latin script used J and V instead of modern Y and W.
Modern scholars think the best pronunciation is Yahweh.
Of course Jews aren't concerned because they don't pronounce it at all.
 
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