said to Abram and Sarai, "Lech lecha: take leave of your country, your clan, and your parents to journey to the land I will show you...." (Genesis 12:1)
In contradistinction, the texts that relate to Abraham refer to God as YHVH
, with three critical exceptions.
This name--Allah for Muslims and YHVH
for Jews--differs from all the other names that are just philosophical terms for a universal aspect or role of God.
The most intriguing hint that such might indeed have been the case occurs in the words of the Prophet Ezekiel, who depicts YHVH
as mounting a crescendo of accusations against "Jerusalem" that culminates in the following condemnation:
and Other Deities: Conflict and Accommodation in the Religion of Israel" traces the ancient Near Eastern roots of Israelite monotheism and religious universalism and the controversy concerning the exclusive or non-exclusive worship of YHWH that is expressed in the later literature of the Bible.
In a maamar on parashat Wera, (14) the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson, discusses the interpretation of the Rebbe Maharash on Exodus 5:3, "I revealed Myself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as G-d A-lmighty (E-l Shad-dai) and did not allow them to know Me by My name YHVH
," according to the two explanations of Rashi there.
In reality, as anybody with the slightest real knowledge of mystical Judaism knows, the first particle of this "formula" (after the Latin per, or by) is the phrase "the Lord our God" taken from a basic Hebrew prayer, the Shema; the second is a misuse of the sacred name of the Creator, YHVH
; the third is another Hebrew religious term, meaning "Lord of Hosts" and the fourth is a clumsy, erroneous rendering of Metatron, the highest of the archangels (a curiously modern-sounding word possibly derived from Greek).
One peculiarity of this volume is the rendering of the Divine Name (the tetragrammaton) as YHVH
instead of the proper YHWH, for the letter "vav" of modern Hebrew was pronounced as a "w" in Biblical Hebrew, as indeed Prof.
According to the Hebrew Bible, the ancestors of the Jewish people, referred to as the Hebrews, were enslaved in Egypt until a deity known as "YHVH
," or God, brought them out of the land through a series of miracles.
Depending whom you ask, the rule pertains to any version of the name of God, or only the tetragrammaton (YHVH
or YHWH, pronounced Yahweh or sometimes Jehovah), or only the tetragrammaton in Hebrew characters.
Yehuda Sirilion at Berakhot 53b from the late twelfth- or early thirteenth-century record the numerological explanation that the value of amen, 91, equals that of YHVH
and Adonay (26+65).
At the frontal lobes God is creator and commander, mother and nurturer, or any image we choose; in the limbic system YHVH
is my rock, my milk, my rosemary leaf, and words are short-circuited by the body's allegiance.