Why do the Jews always write G-d?
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30-08-2015, 08:14 PM
RE: Why do the Jews always write G-d?
(29-08-2015 08:00 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(29-08-2015 07:50 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  That's a good question. I know that, in the medieval world, Jews would save every scrap of parchment that had the Hebrew name of God. The following is from a paper in progress that I'm writing...


So it's possible that the reason they write the English name of God in such a way is related to this.

That's fascinating OlduvaiGorger. But it looks like it only applies to the Hebrew name for God. So why G-d? Help us out here DLJ or Aliza. Never mind. DLJ didn't even know he was a Jew until he was like 65 so he's pretty much clueless and useless. Help us out here Aliza.

P.S. Nice wording and conceptual organization on your paper OlduvaiGorge. I think exploring the answer to this question would only enhance your research program. Thumbsup

(29-08-2015 10:33 PM)Aliza Wrote:  This is not just a Medieval practice. It is still practiced to this day. People bring worn out papers with G-d's name on it to the local synagogue for the synagogue staff to dispose of properly.

Your writing is 100% correct, but I might add to clarify our discussion that it is viewed as profoundly disrespectful to erase or destroy G-d's name, and even though we don't view the word "God" as being the same as the Hebrew version, it is still treated in a way that we consider to be respectful.

Thanks to both of you for the kind remarks. My paper actually deals with using untapped historical sources for exploring the history of the Kaifeng Jewish community of ancient China. It is only indirectly related to the thread subject.
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31-08-2015, 06:40 AM
RE: Why do the Jews always write G-d?
(29-08-2015 07:50 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  That's a good question. I know that, in the medieval world, Jews would save every scrap of parchment that had the Hebrew name of God. The following is from a paper in progress that I'm writing...

Quote:Most importantly, one medieval Jewish source that has not yet been tapped is the famous Cairo Geniza. A geniza (storehouse) is a room in which Hebrew documents containing the name of God are stored until they can be properly buried. This is because Jews consider Hebrew to be the language of God, and so documents containing his name were thought to be imbued with his power. Therefore, said documents needed to be periodically buried just like human remains after they had fulfilled their purpose. One such geniza that was never emptied was located in the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat (Old Cairo), Egypt. The original pre-Islamic building had to be rebuilt in 1025 after Caliph al-Hakim destroyed it 13 years earlier. It remained an important center of worship for nearly 900 years due to the city’s former status as the center of the Fatimid Empire (909–1171) and its close ties to Cairo. The contents of the synagogue first came to international attention in 1890 when the roof was removed for repairs. Inside was discovered a huge cache of 350,000 fragmentary documents from the 6th- to the 19th-century.

So it's possible that the reason they write the English name of God in such a way is related to this.

That was the explanation I got from a rabbi a few years ago. The idea is anything with the name of God written on it cannot be improperly disposed, so they get around this by only writing "G-d" on things they consider temporary.
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