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Kabbalah 401.3: Don't take God's Name in vain

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.

Many writers have connected the Third Commandment with the Third Sefirah, Binah, and thus, with the Third Path of the Sefer Yetzirah.

The Third Path is Named the Sanctifying Intelligence (Sekhel MeKudash מקדוש שכל ), the Foundation of Primordial Wisdom, which is called the Parent of Faith, as from its Power does Faith emanate.

In Nova Thought, Binah would relate to Black, the Order Source, the Number Nine, the Ida Nadi, and the Character of the Servant. It is also the Left, Upward moving Black Pillar Boaz ("Strength") of Solomon's Temple, and the Rune Isa. There is also a Kabbalistic Attribution to the Hebrew Letter, Shin. This is a strange juxtaposition of “Primordial Fire” and Ice, isn’t it? You may remember that the Merkabah was composed of the Primordial Fire. It has been said, that Binah was created to limit Chokhmah. Think of the connection between the Chaotic Chokhmah and Leviathan, and you will Understand how this works. The connection between Binah and Order was covered in an earlier article by this writer.

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