More Discussions for this daf
1. Shem Shamayim Versus Shem Hash-m 2. Lav she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh 3. ד״ה ה״ג שאלה כללית על לשון רש"י על תמורה

hg asks:

Shem Shamayim versus Shem HaShem on 3b.

any difference between those two terms or do they refer to same expression?

Chaim, Spring Valley

The Kollel replies:

Reb Chaim, this is a very interesting observation. The simple pshat is that they refer to the same expression but I would not be surprised if there is something deeper behind this which I am not aware of at the present moment.


Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

I have a conjecture which may help solve this problem, based on two seemingly contradictory statements of the Rambam. The first statement is from the Rambam at the end of Hilchos Shevu'os (12:11). He writes that it is not only an unnecessary oath which is forbidden, but it is in fact forbidden even to mention one of the "special names" of Hashem unnecessarily.

The other statement is near the end of Hilchos Sanhedrin (26:3). He writes that someone who utters a curse is liable for Malkus, whether he did so with one of the Names of Hashem or with a "Kinuy" (a representative term but not an actual Name).

Why does the Rambam write that the prohibition of "mentioning" only applies to the "special Names" while the prohibition on cursing applies also to a Kinuy?

I suggest that possibly the Rambam's source is our Gemara. The Gemara refers to cursing one's friend "with the Name" while it then changes its tune and refers to "uttering the Name of Heaven for no reason."

My conjecture is that the Rambam learned from the extra word "Heaven" that one requires a "special Name" to be liable for utterance without a curse.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

I have posed this question to a few Talmidei Chachamim. They all said it is a very good question and each one gave a different answer!

1) One way of tackling the question is to point out the difference between the prohibitions of (a) cursing and (b) mentioning the name of Hashem for no reason, which are mentioned in the Gemara. The root of prohibition (a) is the cursing. The fact that the cursing is done in the name of Hashem is a condition for the Torah prohibition to apply, but the actual prohibition is the cursing. That is why the Gemara states "to cursing his friend with the Name" because the Isur is the cursing, but one cannot transgress this prohibition without the additional aspect of the Name. Since the "Name" is only part of the package it is not necessary to mention "Shamayim" because this itself is an additional detail of something which itself is only a part of the package.

In contrast, when it comes to (b) the only prohibition involved is the "Name." This is why the Gemara uses the phrase "to uttering the Name of Heaven for no reason" -- since the prohibition is only the "Name" and there is nothing additional involved such as cursing, it is appropriate to say something extra about the "Name." This is why the Gemara adds that it is the Name of "Heaven," because it is important to specify which Name we are referring to.

2) Another suggestion put forward to answer your question is to note that when someone curses his friend, one can assume that he probably did so because he was angry. Therefore, what really interests the curser is the curse. One could almost claim that his chief intention was not really the Name of Hashem that he said, although it was, of course, very bad of the curser to utter it simply because he was angry with somebody else.

In contrast, when someone uttered the Name of Hashem without a curse, he was probably not doing so simply because of emotional reasons. Rather, his chief intention was to say the Name. This is why the Gemara mentions "Shamayim" -- because he was doing this "l'Shem Shamayim"; he had full intentions for the "Name."

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom