HaShem

June 20, 2006

(both and neither masculine nor feminine and absolutely no plural); the word means, literally, “The Name,” and it is the way that Jews refer to G-d when not in a Prayer or Torah Reading or Torah citation context. The reason is that the Torah forbids us from pronouncing the four-letter Name of HaShem in other than ritual contexts, and even then using only certain Names (other than the four-letter one, known as the Tetragrammaton) that embody characteristics, such as A-donai, E-l, E-lohim.