Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I do not spell out God

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time surely you've noticed I use G-d instead of God. It's not because I'm superstitious nor do I think it blasphemous to say or type God since it is not God's name anyway.  I'm not sure if I've explained this before.  But, I'll try to explain it now.


I write G-d for a couple of reasons. I picked up the habit when I was conversing with Orthodox Jews on-line.  Similar to not spelling out G-d's name in the time of the Hebrew Scriptures, Orthodox Jews do not write God out of respect now.  It started in written communications where the paper might have been balled up and thrown away.  It was carried over to electronic communications.  I originally started out of respect for my Jewish friends, then carried it over out of respect for G-d.

I also do not write out God because every time I see G-d, I am reminded there is no name for the indescribable, all-in-all.  There is no name that can contain G-d.  So, it's really more of a symbol than a name, in my mind.  It constantly reminds me that G-d cannot be perceived or described- not even spelled.  I had a debate on-line with someone a couple of weeks ago who thinks the name of G-d is Jehovah.  Sorry, I don't think so.   The Hebrews referred to G-d in a number of ways. Some feminine, some masculine.

Anything that puts G-d in a box is a problem for me.  I like alternating feminine and masculine pronouns for G-d again as a reminder of Her incredible expansiveness.  G-d is another way of keeping God out of the box for me.  I don't mind spelling God out.  I don't think He'll strike me down for it.  But, I prefer to try to keep in mind that my mind just can't ever wrap around G-d.

3 comments:

Joe said...

"G-d is another way of keeping God out of the box." Well put.

Mike Angehr said...

Kind of dumb - no different than Muslims refusing to have Muhammad drawn.

Unown said...

"I like alternating feminine and masculine pronouns for G-d again as a reminder of Her incredible expansiveness. "
... This... could NOT be more blasphemous. ><