I know that there is a prohibition against erasing the name of God. Given todays technology and the widespread usage of computers, how is that prohibition being interpreted?
The advent of the information age, and the proliferation of computers as a medium of communication and study raises questions which our tradition could not have anticipated, yours among them. Nonetheless there is a body of discussion on the subject of destroying the Name of God that is helpful in approaching this most modern issue. An overview of the traditional issue from the Reform perspective is found in CURRENT REFORM RESPONSA, edited by the late Solomon Freehof, and published by HUC Press in 1969. Your local Rabbi or synagogue may have a copy. I have not seen a more recent discussion, though the Computer Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis may be discussing the issue. The prohibition of destroying God’s name stems from a passage in Dt. 12:3-4, where we are commanded to obliterate the names of idols, “but you shall not do so to the Name of the Lord your God.” Through the centuries, the rabbis expanded the prohibition to include the Name of God (YHVH) in all sacre