I wonder why some people write the word God and leave out the O. I believe it comes from Not taking the Lord’s name in vain, but the word God is a title not a name.
I should probably wait for the more literate types to chime in, but it seems to me that God is the name (or one of the names) of the Christian god. That’s why it is capitalized (like you capitalize other names).
It’s basically Jewish tradition. Anything written with the full name of their deity has to be treated properly in life (with respect) and in death (given a proper religious funeral, even for documents). So G-d is a way to get around that and not have to deal with all the righteousness.
Edit: And as for whether “God” is a name, that same dude has probably 10 different names depending on the epoch and who you’re talking to. The sacredness of the English translation (“God”) is under some dispute, but folks like to play it safe and just treat it as “sacred enough”. Religion isn’t a strictly defined language, just a bunch of ambiguous rules and traditions loosely cobbled together over time.
BTW, congratulations for maintaining the (accidental) tradition of asking questions about Jewish customs during Shabbat (when some of the Jewish members of the board will be offline).
This question comes up a lot. One of the most succinct answers I found on a search is from this thread
Zev’s Law: Questions about Orthodox Judaism must be asked during Shabbat when Orthodox Jews aren’t here to answer.
Yet they always have lots of loyal goyim to do their work on their day off.
“STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! All right, no one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle. Even… and I want to make this absolutely clear… even if they do say, Jehovah.”
I always figured “God” was his job title, not his name. You might call the person you work for “Boss” but his name might be Richard. But yes, people omit the “o” to avoid taking the name in vain. It’s overkill, IMHO, but there’s a lot of that among Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Actually it’s more of a job description.
As we all know, his name is “Harold.”
Thank you all for your replies.
The question of whether the English word “God” is a title or a name, or is included in the rules about not treating God’s name lightly, has different answers depending on who’s talking. For most Orthodox and some right-wing Conservative Jews, they’ll write G-d. For most Reform and left-wing Conservative Jews (I’m one of the latter), we’ll write out God with out qualms.
I would not write the Hebrew four-lettered Name of God on anything that wasn’t permanent.* I have sometimes written the English letters, although I usually separate them with a hyphen. The English word God, however, doesn’t bother me.
There are several different words used for God in the Hebrew Bible, and most Orthodox Jews not only won’t write the four-lettered Name, they also won’t write the Hebrew Elohim usually translated “Lord.” I don’t think they use L-rd. As noted, I don’t have any problem with writing English letters.
It is funny how many times questions about Orthodox Judaism are (inadvertently) asked on the sabbath. Today, also, is Purim – it’s OK for Orthodox Jews to write and use electricity on Purim (unlike sabbath) but they may be busy with celebrations and not get here until Monday.
Reported for saying “Jehovah”.
So it’s “b-ss,” then.
What about those posters that use og?
G-less heathens, I presume?
Thank you for clearing that up for me.
Don’t leave out the power of tradition.
I am hardly a “right-wing” Conservative (honestly, I’m not even sure what that means, as most if the folks at my Conservative shul are very socially progressive), and I’m an atheist to boot, but I grew up with G-D as written, and it just feels funny if I don’t do it.
No no no no no. His name is Andy.
Andy walks with me,
Andy talks with me,
Andy tells me I am his own.
I did say “most” – I know plenty of Reform Jews who write with the dash, and I know many Orthodox Jews who don’t. I agree, it’s often tradition and what one is comfortable with.
Reported for saying “Je-” – hey, wait a second.
I’m smart enough to figure that out, thank Jehovah.
I know you said most, I just wanted to draw specific attention to the tradition category, because in my experience it’s a big one.