Tuesday, 18 December 2007

O Adonai!

I guess some are dying to discover that today's O! name (here) is O Adonai!
Adonai is a sort of polyglot (mixed up!) Word meaning Lord as in LORD God.
It has linguistic roots in hebrew-Aramaic and also in Greek.
Those of you who know such things will know that orthodox Jews do not pronounce the sacred name. That which is rendered in the Hebrew by the consonants YHWH. (Pictured Hebraically from Right to Left above)
We have called God Jehovah, but this is incorrect for a whole variety of reasons.
However, liturgically Jews would say ADONAI instead of YHWH.

So the opening words of the prayer Shema are
Shema Israel (Hear Israel) Adonai (The Lord) Elohenu (Our God), Adonai (The Lord) ehud (is one)
Our old Boss used to tell us that he was once sitting next to a rabbi at a function and making conversation he asked "Do you still use Adonai as the name for God in common parlance?"
The rabbi nearly jumped through the roof as Adonai even though it is a replacement has also been restricted to only liturgical use.
When referring to the LORD (YHWH) it is common custom to say Ha Shem...meaning the name.
Oh the things those Jews get up to!
Christians believe that God is close and inclusive, rather than exclusive and far, as this sort of ritualism promotes.


O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.


O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

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