Pronouncing the Name of God

Question

I have a version of the Bracha for Sefirot HaOmer.
It has Hay Yud in place of Adonai.
It has E-LoKEInu in place of EloHEInu.

Because of these replacements, the paper does not have
to be buried since it does not contain the name of G-d.

Could you explain these two replacement words
and why neither is the name of G-d?
How does one pronounce Hay Yud?
Are these replacement words only for writing purposes?
Am I correct that I would still say Adonai and Eloheinu during my recitation?

Thanks.

4 months

Answers

  1. Because the Name of God is so holy it is not used gratuitously. That means that not only do we not pronounce the Names of God outside of prayer but many are also careful not to write the Name fully so as to avoid having to look after the paper that it appears on carefully the whole time.

    I am not familiar with using the letters ‘heh’ and ‘yud’ together in place of Adonai. The Name Adonai is really spelled ‘yud’ ‘heh’ ‘vav’ and ‘heh’ – but due to its intense holiness we never pronounce that Name as it is spelled. Rather, it is pronounced as Adonai.

    The accepted norm is to change the letter ‘heh’ in Eloheinu to a ‘kaf’ in both written and spoken references God (outside of prayer), thereby removing its intrinsic holiness and, again, allowing one to be less careful about the paper that it is written on.

    At all times during prayer the Names of God should be pronounced as Adonai and Eloheinu.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. Ahh. That explains it. The second “letter” is not a ‘yud’ – it is an apostrophe. The accepted standard way of writing God’s Name without actually writing out the letters is “heh apostrophe” or “dalet apostrophe”.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team