Saturday, March 17, 2012

Yahweh domain name approved in Israel

As reported by Ynet News, March 13, 2012:

The committee in charge of approving domain names which might be offensive, has voted this week to okay a new domain: "Yahweh.co.il." The decision was first reported by Tomer Persico on his blog "Minim."

However, according to some halacha views, typing and even deleting "Yahweh" on the computer is only allowed when absolutely necessary and not for humorous purposes.

Committee members Michael Birnhack and retired judge Boaz Okon agreed there was no reason to prohibit the possibly offensive domain name, whereas Committee Chairman Hank Nussbacher and author Yochi Brandes objected.

Birnhack explained that the committee is only authorized to rule out "domain names which include dirty language that might hurt the public or the public's feelings, or words that are not suitable according to the Israeli law."

According to him, the domain name "Yahweh," vommonly vocalized as "Jehovah," fit under either of these categories.

"I suppose there are those who might be somewhat offended by the actual use of the name as a domain name, for what they will view as degrading the explicit sacred name of God or for some other halacha reason," remarked Birnhack.

"However, since the explicit sacred name of God is not personally hurtful, and since it appears online in many other legal applications, both legitimate and acceptable including the bible, I believe that the extent of any offense which might be caused is limited."

Okon agreed with Birnhack, saying: "The explicit sacred name of God comes up anyway in any online search, including Wikipedia, and it's hard to see why the use of the name as a domain name arouses such difficulties."

However Brandes wished to reject the request. "The letters Y-A-H-A-W-E-H spell the first name of the god of Israel, which is considered to be the holiest of names in the Jewish culture.

"I believe Y-A-H-A-W-E-H should remain a name only written in Torah books and in bible quotes, and not anywhere else. There is no street or community in Israel names Y-A-H-A-W-E-H, and it's only right that there won't be an internet site by that name either."

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