We have been discussing the “Ten Commandments” (“Ten Words”) found in the Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible. First, the Elohim announces the True Name. Then, God rejects the presence of other “Gods”, to the point of forbidding any graven images. Now, the Third Commandment restricts the usage of God’s Proper Name.
You shall not take the name of YHVH, your God, in vain, for YHVH will not hold blameless anyone who takes His name in vain.
God is making it very clear how important the True Name is. There are those who interpret this as not bearing false testimony, or swearing. It goes, however, much further than that. For religious Jews, this Name is simply never said. Even paraphrases of YHVH are avoided in non-liturgical use. Usually, the epithet “Adonai” (“MY LORD”) is substituted, Most Orthodox folk will even not even say “Adonai” unless in prayer. Instead, “HaShem” (“the Name”) is said. Some groups even go further, deliberately mispronouncing “HaShem” as “HADASHEM”, and “Elohenu” (our God”) as “ELOKENU”.
YHVH has also been referred to as the “Tetragrammaton”, a Greek formation Meaning simply “Four-Lettered Name”. There are, however, several other Names of God written with Four Hebrew Letters.