Official Blog of the Bishop of Durham

Rabbi Solves Mystery of The Divine Name – YHWH Goes Both Ways!

Posted by NT Wrong on July 24, 2008

The pronunciation and meaning of The Name of YHWH has been a mystery for 2000 years. But, Rabbi Mark Sameth of Westchester now claims to have cracked it! And it turns out that God is a hermaphrodite …

“Rabbi Mark Sameth contends in a soon-to-be-published article that the four-letter Hebrew name for God – held by Jewish tradition to be unpronounceable since the year 70 – should actually be read in reverse.

When the four letters are flipped, he says, the new name makes the sounds of the Hebrew words for “he” and “she.”

God thus becomes a dual-gendered deity, bringing together all the male and female energy in the universe, the yin and the yang that have divided the sexes from Adam and Eve to Homer and Marge.

“This is the kind of God I believe in, the kind of God that makes sense to me, in a language that speaks very, very deeply to human aspirations and striving,” Sameth said. “How could God be male and not female?”

Sameth, 54, the spiritual leader of Pleasantville Community Synagogue in Pleasantville, first hit on his theory more than a decade ago when he was a rabbinical student.

Since then, he has pieced together clues and supporting evidence from the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament to Christians, and the vast body of rabbinic literature.”

Solving a biblical mystery

Now that’s been solved, what will Madonna and the other kabbalists do? And where did the alephs go?

Rabbi Mark Sameth’s article will appear in CCAR Journal, published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

6 Responses to “Rabbi Solves Mystery of The Divine Name – YHWH Goes Both Ways!”

  1. I think that YHVH has the meaning father-god or creator.
    This father-god meaning can be elicited from YHVH by allocating the following ancient sounds to these Hebrew letters:

    yod = Germanic G, classical Greek/Latin K or later Latin CR
    heh = DH or TH
    vav = F or Greek PH

    Hence, YH+VH = GoTH/CaTH/CReaT + FaTH(er)

    For yod = cr, compare yod-dalet YaD = hand; memorial, Greek kud(os), Latin credit. Let’s give him/her a big hand.

    For vav = F/PH, compare Greek phasis = phase (of the moon) borrowed into Hebrew as vav-samekh-sof VeSeT = enstruation, menses; custom, habit

    For heh = DH (dalet+heh), compare DaG = fish and its reversal Greek ichth(os).

    When the heh lost its ancient sound, it was often replaced in Hebrew with a dalet, the letter whose sound was closest to the letter whose sound was lost. Therefore, Latin or Greek often has an H or breathing sound where Hebrew now has a dalet:

    DaM = Greek hemo- = blood
    @aDaM = Latin homo = man, mankind
    @aDaMah = Greek chamai / Latin humus = (damp) ground
    mDaMeM = Greek hymen = (membrane that) bleeds (the first time)

    This seems to explain why both dalet-apostrophe and heh-apostrophe are Hebrew abbreviations for G-d.

    Ciao (compare tzadi-aleph = to exit),
    Israel “izzy” Cohen

  2. ntwrong said

    Your suggestion certainly deserves as much consideration as Rabbi Mark Sameth’s.

  3. steph said

    that’s funny:-)

  4. agathos said


    “Your suggestion certainly deserves as much consideration as Rabbi Mark Sameth’s.”

    Classic. Well done.

  5. babaylan said

    trust people to take their limited human perceptions and project them unto Divinity.

    i appreciate the rabbi’s search for the esoteric meanings of the symbolism. i think his findings are important for the human race to find balance and healing. but i do think that our limited human experience is so pathetic trying to explain Something Greater Than Us because by most of our attempts as mere humans we keep on creating God in our own image.

    i think that the hermaphrodite aspect is trying to explain something that goes beyond man’s limited language and experiences of physical being.

    if one can go beyond the concepts of gender, that could break the code of the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter, unpronounceable name of God handed down by the ancient Israelites represents both He and She.

    the limits of language play a large part in this exploration of masculine/feminine principles within Divinity. speaking from my culture, in the Philippines, the pronoun of “siya” is genderless. There is no “He” and no “She.” there is “sila” which means “them”. when one prays in Filipino for God to bless His Sons, one cannot say it with gender references because there is no one word for son or daughter, there is only child/anak or children/mga anak.

    Can the western mind imagine the soul and the Divinity in whom It’s image was created as genderless, colorless, culture-less, race-less, religion-less?

  6. Jennifer Miller said

    I must, most respectfully disagree with the more learned Rabbi. While I am not Jewish (Christian), I must humbly interject some knowledge I recently learned.
    According to a piece I read in Hebrew Streams, feminizing haShem makes it, in actuality, a reference to the pagan god (small “g”) Sheva.
    I know that ancient Aramaic, thus Hebrew, was a very exact language; therefore, it is my belief that they would never have been so “sloppy” to have two spellings for one word, or idea.
    (In fact, in Ezekiel’s ‘vision’, in describing the Heavenly vehicle and its occupant, his exact words were “… on the throne was a figure like that of a man …”. In his further diologue, Ezekiel continues referring to the figure as “He”.)

    The piece is very informative. It can be found at

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