Halachic Hazards Encyclopedia Letter G

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Letter G

G-d’s Name: [Achronim]

A. Picturing the name of Hashem in one’s mind:[1]

It is written in the name of the Arizal that one should accustom himself to vision the letters of the name of Hashem [Yud Kei Vav Kei] in his mind as this is of great assistance in bringing a person to fear of G-d.

B. Treating documents with Hashem’s name with holiness:[2] [Achronim/Rebbe]

Lack of being careful in treating G-d’s name with respect brings poverty to the Jewish people r”l. Thus, it is forbidden to write the name of G-d on paper even in foreign languages.[3] Thus one may not write the word G-d, or Gu-t in letters.[4] Those that are accustomed to do so are mistaken and are doing a very grave sin. Thus, whenever one desires to write G-d’s name in foreign languages, such as Yiddish or English, the name is to be written with a dash in between the words [or, alternatively, not spell the name in full].[5]

C. Dangers of using Hashem’s name for swearing demons and angels:[6] [Sefer Chassidim/Shulchan Aruch]

One who involves himself in using Hashem’s name for swearing angels or demons will not have a good and happy ending and therefore one should distance himself from this.

D. Dangers of using Hashem’s name for personal use:[7] [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]

One who involves himself in using Hashem’s name for personal use is liable for death.

E. Saying the secret names of Hashem:[8] [Kabbalah]

One is to beware not to verbalize the secret names of G-d even if they are written in Sefarim.


A. Not to go alone to a Gentiles house:[9] [Achronim]

A person should not go alone to the house of a Gentile, due to the danger that it involves.[10] In the city of Baghdad, there have been many occurrences in which Jews have been murdered upon going alone to the home of the Gentile. Therefore, one who does so is liable for his own death, as it is forbidden for one to go alone to the home of a Gentile even if he is his friend.

B. The bed of a gentile woman:[11] [Talmud/Rishonim/Achronim]

Rava taught his children that they should never sit on the bed of a gentile woman unless he checks under the bed to make sure that there is not anything compromising there.

C. Not to meet a gentile after Mikveh:[12] [Shulchan Aruch/Rishonim]

Women are to beware after leaving the Mikveh to first meet a friend, in order so they do not meet a gentile. See Vol. 1 Chapter 16!

D. Jewish women being alone with Gentiles:[13] [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch]

A Jewish woman is to avoid being alone together with Gentiles, even if there are many men and women together, due to danger of murder [and rape]. [This is aside for the Yichud prohibition, in addition, there is a worry of danger. Women are to especially be careful regarding this when traveling in a taxi and when visiting a doctor.[14]]

E. A gentile midwife:[15] [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]

One is not to have a Gentile midwife help a Jewish woman give birth, even if she is an expert, unless there are other Jewish women in the room, due to worry of danger [that she will kill the child]. However, one may have a Gentile midwife in the home of a Jew, if there are other Jews that are there or that will constantly enter and leave. [Some Poskim[16], however, conclude that this only applied in previous times when there was no governmental oversight in the birth ward, however, today that the birth is performed under supervision in the hospital, one may have even a Gentile midwife.]

F. A Gentile wetnurse:[17] [Shulchan Aruch]

One is not to give their child to a Gentile mother to nurse in her home even if there are other people found there. However, she may nurse the child in the home of the Jew, if there are other Jews that are there or that will constantly enter and leave. [This is all regarding the aspect of danger, however, due to that Gentile milk can create bad character in a child, therefore a woman should never give her child to a Gentile wet nurse for breastfeeding.[18]]

G. Not to look at the face of a gentile:[19] [Achronim]

One is not to stare at the face of a Gentile.


Matters that can trigger the foot illness known as Podagra [i.e. gout]:[20] [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]

The following three matters can cause an individual to develop the foot illness known as Podagra [i.e. gout]:[21]

  1. One who walks with narrow shoes that are tight on the feet.
  2. One who sleeps on a short bed.
  3. One who excessively engages in marital intercourse.
  • Some say that gout is triggered when a person drinks excessive amounts of wine.[22]
  • Some say that gout is triggered by a person who gets angry frequently.[23] 


See Volume 1 Chapter 14

Guns:[24] [Achronim]

A person should not play with a dangerous item such as a knife, sword, or gun. It once occurred in the country of Iraq that a certain Gentile shot and killed himself with his own gun while playing with it. [Accordingly, one should never point a gun at a person, including oneself, even if he thinks it is not loaded. Likewise, one should not try to juggle knives or other sharp items.]


A. Not to stand under a gutter:[25] [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]

One is not to sit under a gutter which comes out from the roof being that the Mazikim are found there.

B. Having a gutter leak into one’s house:[26] [Achronim]

Some are particular to not have a gutter enter one’s house, such as if they would like to collect rainwater in their home.


[1] Beir Heiytiv 1:2; Kaf Hachaim 1:2 in name of Shaar Ruach Hakodesh 21; Ketzos Hashulchan 144 footnote 6 states that his uncle Reb Dovid Tzevi Aryeh Schneerson told him that the Gaon of Brisk would periodically write the name of Hashem in the air in order to fulfill the verse of “Shavisi Havayah Linegdi Samid”.

[2] Kitzur SHU”A 6:3; Ketzos Hashulchan 5:41; Nesivos Hamishpat Choshen Mishpat 27:2; Smeh; Aruch Hashulchan Choshen Mishpat 27:3 in name of many Gedolei Yisrael.

[3] The reason for this is because the paper which contains the name can end up in a filthy area, such as the garbage. Lack of being careful in this matter brings poverty to the Jewish people r”l. [ibid]

[4] Nesivos Hamishpat ibid

[5] Igros Kodesh 7:26 “The custom is to write G-d with the omission of a letter”; 9:62 “In all areas that you wrote G-d’s name in Yiddish or English, it should be written with a dash, and not in full.” ; 23:36 “I always wondered why people are not careful to write and print G-d with a dash and not in full” [printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:217]; In 85:3 Admur wrote the names of G-d in German and Russian with quotation marks within the word. [Gu”t; Bug”a]. The Rebbe in all his English letters writes “By the grace of G-d”, and so is written in all Jewish orthodox literature in English.; See Achiezer 3:32

[6] Rama Y.D. 179:16 and 246:21; Sefer Chassidim 205; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 90

[7] Rama Y.D. 246:21; Shach 179:18; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 90 footnote 2

[8] Shaar Hamitzvos Shemos; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 90:3

[9] Zivcheiy Tzedek 116:18; Kaf Hachaim 116:166

[10] Igara Deparka 95; Shemiras Hanefesh 73

[11] Brachos 8b and Rashi there; Pesachim 111b that so instructed Rabbeinu Hakadosh to his sons; Kol Bo 118; Kaf Hachaim 116:95

[12] Rama Y.D. 198:48; Shaareiy Dura Niddah 23

[13] Michaber Y.D. 153:4; Avoda Zara 22a and 25b; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 143:1

[14] Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 143:2 footnote 2-3

[15] Michaber Y.D. 154:1; See Shach 154:1; Taz 154:1; Beis Yaakov 104; Pischeiy Teshuvah 154; Darkei Teshuvah 154:1; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 143:1

[16] Toras Hayoledes 8 footnote 5; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 143:4

[17] Michaber Y.D. 154:1; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 143:1

[18] Rama Y.D. 81:7

[19] Sefer Zechira; Likkutei Maharich; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 237:2; See Megillah 28a

[20] Sefer Zechira; Shemiras Hanefesh 113; Kaf Hachaim 116:171

[21] Chupas Eliyahu in end of Reishis Chochmah 3; Kol Bo 118

[22] Sefer Zechira; Shemiras Hanefesh 113; Kaf Hachaim 116:171; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 53 footnote 1 in length; Omitted from list in Chupas Eliyahu and Kol Bo

[23] Sefer Zechira; Shemiras Hanefesh 113; Kaf Hachaim 116:171

[24] Sefer Zechira; Shemiras Hanefesh 232; Zivcheiy Tzedek 116:143; Kaf Hachaim 116:194

[25] Admur Hilchos Shemiras Haguf V’Nefesh 9; Chulin 105b; Elya Raba 170:24; Ben Ish Chaiy Pinchas 2:16; Kaf Hachaim 170:82; Atzei Haolah 116:32; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 222

[26] Hagahos Maharsham on Tzavah ibid; Zichron Tov; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 219:7

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