Monday, April 9, 2007

G_d or God?

I've gotten tons of feedback on my blog so far. For everyone who has written, commented or called: Thanks for the feedback. For those of you who have just read, thanks, too, and I hope to talk with you soon.

The most frequent question I've gotten so far is about the spelling "G_d." In truth, I didn't fully know the rationality behind spelling it that way. In the last few months, I have been reading a lot of articles about Judaism and I noticed that almost everyone wrote "G-d" or "G_d." So I simply adopted it here without thinking much of it.

Then my non-Jewish readers started to question me. (Which is the exact purpose of this blog, so it is already a success.) So I decided to do some more research on the topic.

It appears that the practice is limited to mostly Orthodox and some conservative Jews. Jews leave out the vowels in words referencing the creator as a way to show reverence. (Also while speaking, Orthodox Jews don't use the word for Lord in much the same way. Instead of saying "Adonay" -- usually translated as Lord -- they will say Hashem -- trans. "the name." Instead of Elohim, or God, they will intentionally mispronounced it "Elokim.")

Here are some references:

So what do you think? Which spelling should be used?

Also: Some of you have asked to be e-mailed every time I post, so I created a listing on Blogger. If you're reading this and would like to be on that list, shoot me an e-mail or comment below.


NPM said...
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NPM said...

thought there where 613 laws/rules in the Torah, not 365. I shall assume that it boils to being Othodox or Reformed, etc. when deciding which number to stick with.

Michal (Michelle) said...

You are right that there are 613 laws. (I love that these questions make me look up things to check my facts. It keeps me from being lazy.)

What Steinberg says in Basic Judaism is that there are 365 prohibitions, or things NOT to do.


"Although there is not 100% agreement on the precise list of the 613 (there are some slight discrepancies in the way some lists divide related or overlapping mitzvot), there is complete agreement that there are 613 mitzvot. This number is significant: it is the numeric value of the word Torah (Tav = 400 + Vav = 6 + Resh = 200 + Heh = 5), plus 2 for the two mitzvot whose existence precedes the Torah: I am the L-rd, your G-d and You shall have no other gods before Me. There is also complete agreement that these 613 mitzvot can be broken down into 248 positive mitzvot (one for each bone and organ of the male body, according to the Talmud) and 365 negative mitzvot (one for each day of the solar year)."

Now a question for any reader: When people respond with questions like NPM did, is it proper to respond only in the comments section or should I address it in a new post? Any thoughts? I'm new to all of this...

NPM said...

I believe that appropriate blog manners say that conversations about a topic should remain within said entry. If a topic gets big and has a lot of discussion then it would be wise to start a new entry about said topic and make additions/clarifications.