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Reform Judaism/Appropriate wording in child's Torah


I am going to visit my young nephew (family is reform/conservative) this weekend and wanted to bring him a book I found in a store. It is the story of the Old Testament in comic book form, illustrated with biblical scenes and people entirely recreated out of Lego pieces. I thought this would be a very interesting way to learn. I noticed, though, that in many of the captions (everything is in English), they spell out "Yahweh." I thought this was not acceptable, but perhaps it is? Thank you for your answer.

Dear Paulette,

The book you mention is probably not the best choice, because the word "Yahweh" is a definite indication that the book is of Protestant origin. In all likelihood there my, therefore, be some interpretive statements in the book about the meaning of the text - interpretations with which we would not agree. Our children are not taught to call God by the name of "Yahweh" because it is a Christian construct, a mistaken understanding of the Hebrew language.

Chanukah falls right at Thanksgiving this year. Many synagogues and Jewish community centers will have book fairs where you will be able to find abundant numbers of books for children from Jewish publishers. There are also Jewish bookstores in most large cities, and you can locate Jewish publishers online quite easily. My best suggestion is for you to try these sources and pick something different that the book you were originally considering.

I hope you have had a joyous Sukkot.

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Rabbi Sue Levy


I will be happy to discuss questions about the beliefs and practices of the Jewish people and faith, including but not limited to Reform Judaism. I am not trained as a psychologist and do not, therefore, answer questions about relationships or other personal issues.


I am a rabbi with twenty-seven years of experience. I was raised in the Reform Movement. I am a Reconstructionist rabbi. I have served congregations in three states and am now retired.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Houston Rabbinical Association, Southern Poverty Leadership Council, Rabbis for Human Rights

B.A., political science, Temple University, 1965 M.A., relition, Temple University, 1983 M.A.H.L (Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters), Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, PA, 1986 Rabbinic Ordination, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 1986

Awards and Honors
D.D. (Doctor of Divinity), honorus causa, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 2011

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