Saturday, December 22, 2007

Master of All

The Ran (Nedarim 2a) maintains if one states that he will not do something and includes the Name of Hashem, that itself is regarded as an oath. He proves this from a Gemora below (22b) which says that if one says, “By the Master of all, I will not eat it,” he is prohibited from eating it, although he did not say that he was invoking an oath.

It is evident from this Ran that the words “Master of all” is regarded as saying the Name of Hashem. If so, Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach asks: How would one be permitted to mention this expression (Adon Olam) in his daily speech; it should be regarded as pronouncing the Name of Hashem in vain?

The Chasam Sofer writes that this is indeed the halacha. Just as saying “The Compassionate One” in Hebrew is considered an oath, so too, if he says “Rachmana” in Aramaic, it is regarded as an oath. And just as these expressions are included in the prohibition of swearing with the Name of Hashem in vain, so too, if one uses this expression in vain, he has violated this prohibition, for both of these transgression (swearing falsely and saying Hashem’s Name in vain) are derived from the same verse. Reb Shlomo Zalman is deeply troubled by this ruling, for if so, it would be forbidden to say “Ribbono shel Olam,” or “Adon Olam,” and this is not found in the poskim.

The Netziv cites a different ruling of the Chasam Sofer: If one finds himself in a situation where he is uncertain if he should recite a certain blessing or not, he may say the following: Brich Rachmana Mara D’alma (Blessed is the Compassionate One, Master of all). This would seemingly be a contradiction to the other ruling of the Chasam Sofer. If “Master of all” is considered the Name of Hashem in regards to an oath and in respect to uttering the Name of Hashem in vain, what remedy is there by reciting this other version of the blessing; he is anyway saying the Name of Hashem? Reb Akiva Eiger rules that one is prohibited from using this other version because of this concern.


Yitz said...

Can you please provide the exact Marei Mekomos (at least in paranthesis) I would like to do further research on the subject. Thank you.

Avromi said...

The Shach Y"d 179:11 discusses the sanctity of Hashem's Name in a different language.

Pischei Teshuvah Y"D 328:1 also discusses this.

The Chasam Sofer is here: Nedarim Daf 2.

The Netziv is in Shiltos 53:2.

Reb Akiva Eiger is in teshuvos 25.