(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 10:16:34 -0500
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Subject: RE: Hashem's Name on Dot Printers

There have been several recent postings on Hashem's name in electronic or
printed form. Some suggested (V1 #40) that dot printer printings are not
really words because they are only dots.

I would like to question that on several grounds:

* In other areas of halacha (e.g. Succah) we have a concept of LAVUD...that
is that certain "spaces or regions of emptiness" if they are small enough
are considered filled in. Such a concept also exists in the secular
discipline of Gestalt psychology.

Since the intent of the person printing and the intent of the person
reading are to perceive the letters as whole wouldn't e.g. "G-d" on a dot
printer have the same status as on a non dot printer.

* I can rephrase the above argument as follows: How do we know that
connectedness is a prerequisite for the status of a letter (in say English)

* I can further argue that "dot alphabets" are to English what Kthav Rashi
is to Hebrew..it is a different but similar alphabet. The "A" with dots in
dot alphabet language is INTENDED to be interpreted as an English
(connected ) A. Furthermore even in Hebrew connected ness is not a
prerequisite for all letters (e.g. Hay and Kof)

* Finally I am explicitly asking the following Shaalah about the
Tetragrammaton in Hebrew:

Suppose we take a ShaymMeforash written in a Sefer Torah. Suppose further
that say the Vav is cut in half by a hair line sliver. Does that name still
have the same sanctity (I don't know an answer but clearly the question is
well defined and has relevance)

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d;ASA; rhendel @ mcs drexel edu