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    Using the Divine name – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Surely students learning Torah should be allowed to use the Divine Name instead of a substitute such as HaShem?

    A. According to the Mishnah B’rurah (Orach Chayyim 215:14), one may read God’s Name in a Biblical verse: leaving out or changing the Name is like altering the Bible text.

    Rav Moshe Feinstein says that though enunciating the Name in a verse is allowed, it is not obligatory (Igg’rot Moshe, Orach Chayyim 2:56) and it is best to use a substitute like HaShem or Elokenu.

    When it comes to prayers the real name must not be used if it is not the time for that prayer. When singing Z’mirot some lines only fit the rhyme and rhythm if one says the real name, though Rav JB Soloveitchik did not say these names.

    In studying b’rachot the names should be replaced with substitutes, though one can be lenient with children.

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