August 27, 1999 at 12:00 am #38145
'HaShem' literally means 'the name'. It is a placeholder for the ineffable name of God. In order not to use God's name in a profane context, people will use HaShem instead, when quoting prayers or holy texts. Even in the proper context, the tetragrammaton (YHVH) is never pronounced. The word 'adonai' (which can roughly be translated as 'lord') is used. In order not to confuse this sacred use with potentially non-sacred uses, HaShem is then used to replace 'adonai'.