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Hebrew letters י (yod) ה (heh) ו (vav) ה (heh), or YHWH. (the Tetragrammaton)

The term tetragrammaton (Greek: τετραγράμματον, tetragrammaton, that means "four letters"), also known as the "quadriliteral name"[1] or Shem Ha-Meforash (“the indescribable Name”)[2] refers to the Hebrew theonym YHWH (Hebrew: יהוה, YHWH). It is considered in Judaism to be a proper name of the God of Israel as indicated in the Hebrew Bible. The correct pronunciation of the name of the LORD SENHOR s currently ignored.[3]

Jews are forbidden to utter or write the Tetragrammaton in full. When reading the Torah, they use the term Adonai. Some Jews avoid even to use the term Adonai, when outside the context of prayer or the public reading of the biblical text, using instead HaShem (The name). In some Christian translations of the Bible, LORD is used in place of the Tetragrammaton, written with small capitals (or all caps) to distinguish it from other words translated "Lord". According to traditional interpretation, the Tetragrammaton typifies the divine quality of mercy.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Birnbaum, Philip (1979). Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts. New York: Hebrew Publishing Company. p. 38. ISBN 0-88482-930-8. 
  2. Unterman, Alan (1997). Dictionary of Jewish Lore & Legend. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0500279847. 
  3. Szlakmann, Charles (1989). O Judaísmo para Iniciantes [Judaism for Beginners] (2nd ed.). São Paulo: Editora Brasiliense. p. 35. ISBN 85-11-31006-1.