names for God

The most holy of these names is YHVH—otherwise known in Greek as the four-letter Tetragrammaton. This Name was said once annually by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) on the afternoon of Yom Kippur in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem. After the Temple was destroyed by Rome in 70 C.E., knowledge of how this Name was pronounced passed from the community. Most scholars believe it was articulated as "Yahweh." Today, though the Hebrew letters—yod-heh-vav-heh—are printed in the Torah and religious writings of the Jewish people, it is never pronounced as it was once said. Instead, the name Adonai (meaning, "my Master" or "my Lord") is said. Note the vocalization (i.d., vowels) beneath YHVH is usually identical to the vocalization of Adonai. Some Jews write "God" as "G-d." This second spelling leaving out the "o" derives from this tradition of not pronouncing the holiest of God's names, YHVH. It is, however, a stretch to transfer this idea to the English designation of God, and the Reform movement does not accept this variant spelling, though many Reform Jews continue to do so.