Sunday, June 28, 2015


I always thought the yud-yud was a random substitute for Shem Hashem. Until my Belzer chevrusa this Shabbos pointed to the Kitzur Shlah's statement that it represents the shiluv of the Shem Havayah and the Shem Adnus. (First letter of Havayah, last letter of Adnus.) I found this post that cites most of that explanation in the name of R' Aharon Feldman.

But if so, it is not so simple to say it has no kedushah. We know the Rogatchover held that even a Heh as a sign for Shem Hashem has kedushah, which is why he advocated the use of a Dalet instead. צ"ע.


See the fascinating Mishnas Chachamim below, courtesy of Reb Micha Berger, from on both the double-yud and the triple-yud:

Also courtesy of RMB, from Siddur Rav Sa'ada Gaon, the triple-yud "in action:"


  1. Historically speaking, using two yuds is a simplification from originally using three. Whether because the type for the high third yud was an issue or to silencs Xians claiming a trinitarian message, I don't know. But, for example, see Siddur R' Saadia Gaon

    1. Why would anyone use three yuds? Perhaps in the manuscript the "third yud" was really a mark signifying a contraction.

    2. Initials of birkhas kohanim, actually. The Zohar mentions it. Also 3 * יד (the name of the letter) = 42, as in the sheim of that number of letters.

      I do not know where in the Zohar the above appears. But it's interesting because the practice of using three yuds flared up during the geonim -- well after Rashbi and yet also ended centuries before R' Moshe de Leon.

      See also the haqdamah of Mishnas Chakhamim, here
      nr top of page.

    3. Very, very cool. I updated the post with a picture of the page! (Crediting you.)

    4. Where is the above mentioned Shelah?