Orthodox Judaism/Pronouns of prayer


Thank you for you service,
My wife and I are currently studying the book Aleph Isn't Tough by Linda Motzkin (who I believe is Reform). On page 21 it gives 2 alternate prayers to HaShem for when men are not present. They use the female pronouns rather than the he/it of normal prayers and translate as: "...Who makes us holy with Her mitzvot..." We were told that while these are non-traditional they are appropriate and Torah consistent. I understand that the male pronouns can mean he or it while the female ones only refer to females. My question is, is it appropriate to use female pronouns when referring to HaShem when men are not present? I can not imagine this is correct however my wife and I really want to understand this.


Proper Hebrew grammar is to refer to Hashem as a "He". As far as what God's essence is, whether God is a "He" or a "She" is immaterial, as God is removed from any human conception of His existence. As such, the prayers should be recited in their traditional form, without changing the gender pronouns.
I have never heard of praying using female pronouns, and truthfully, since God is neither a He nor a She, I don't understand what the purpose would be from doing so.
I hope this addresses your question. Feel free to contact me again for further clarification.

Orthodox Judaism

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I can answer any questions about orthodox Judaism, especially the laws that relate to women. No question too big or small, and never be embarrassed to ask - it's the only way you'll find out!


I am an orthodox Jewish woman, but I have had my questions, and always seek answers, so I have a lot of experience in all areas. If I don't know the answer, I'll ask someone who does.

High school graduate

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.