Why not write out G-O-D? In books of Torah it’s written out

What we can learn from the prohibition of blasphemy

One of the Torah’s Seven Noahide Commandments is the prohibition of “blasphemy”. There are details about exactly what is forbidden within Torah Law to be spoken. The most severe prohibition in this matter is not to “blaspheme G-d’s Name”. This means speaking a curse against G-d’s holiest Name (G-d forbid). There is also a prohibition of blasphemy within the Jewish commandments.

We learn from this that there is a general obligation for all people to fear and honor G-d. In Exodus 22:27, “You shall not curse G-d,” the Hebrew word for “curse” has the same root as “disgrace”. Therefore any action that causes a desecration or dishonor of a name of G-d is forbidden as a branch of this prohibition. The Jews received details about this in the Torah, and from these we learn what is logically prohibited for Gentiles.

This is explained in The Divine Code, Part 3, chapter 2. This is the chapter on “Obligations to Revere and Fear G-d”.

The source of the custom for how to write a name of G-d in non-sanctified contexts is Deuteronomy 12:3-4. In verse 12:3, the Israelites received instructions before entering the Land of Canaan.  They were commanded to destroy pagan alters, pillars, idol-trees and idol-statues, and the names of the idols. Then verse 12:4 says, “You shall not do so to the L-rd your G-d.” In part, this means taking precautions so printings or inscriptions of complete names of G-d will not be “desecrated”. Specifically, they should not be erased, torn, destroyed, or otherwise treated disrespectfully.

Respect for G-d’s names in hard-copy material

It’s proper to show this respect for G-d’s names in printed formats. This is an expression of the awe and fear of G-d that we should have. This applies to a written-out name of the One True G-d in any language. Books of Hebrew scriptures, Torah teachings or prayer books (in any language) are usually treated with proper respect. Therefore, it is not a problem to print a name of G-d in full form in such books or booklets.

However, other types of hard-copy printings, such as individual pages or cards, could easily come to be thrown away. For those, it is best if a name of G-d is not written out completely. Then the real forming of G-d’s name is within our mind, and not on the actual page.

If one has a document that contains a written-out name of G-d or a verse from the Hebrew Bible, and it is no longer needed, it is best to set it aside in a safe place so that it will not be thrown directly into the garbage, etc. When one accumulates a number of such items and they need to be disposed of, it is appropriate to respectfully bury them double-wrapped in plastic if the writing is in the context of Torah.

If pages with a written-out name of G-d (in languages other than Hebrew) are found in secular printed material like a secular newspaper or magazine, they can be double-wrapped (a bag inside a bag) and put into the garbage.

An image on a computer screen has no permanence and is not at all considered to be in the above category of words that are actually written down. Nevertheless, it is pious conduct not to write out G-d’s names fully in electronic files also, if there is a concern that the electronic document might be printed out on paper, etc.

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