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Deleting the Shem Hashem from Screen

It is not permissible to erase the Shem Hashem. May one bring up a copy of a sefer on a computer screen if there is a Shem Hashem on the page he is looking at?


This is a question that has be frequently asked in the computer era.

Most authorities have ruled that there is no prohibition in erasing a Name of Hashem that appears on a computer screen. Various reasons are given for this, the main reason being that writing on a computer screen (certain a Cathode Tube device, and even an LCD display, neither of which amount to concrete script) is not considered actual script, and that there is therefore no prohibition of erasing.

See Teshuvos Vehanhagos, Vol. 3, no. 326, who suggests a number of futher reasons why it is possible that no prohibition applies.

Yet, I have heard from Rav Dovid Morgenstern that Rav Elyashiv Shlita is stringent on the matter, and therefore it is preferable to avoid having a Name of Hashem, and in particular the Shem Havayah, appear on the screen. Most Torah programs offer a function by which the Name is written with the letter Dalet instead of Hey, and this avoids the problem.

If the Name does for some reason appear, one may be lenient in deleting it. It is possible preferable to scroll down than to delete the word, because scrolling down is not defined as an act of deletion.

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  1. What is the savara/tam of R’ Eliyashuv exactly? I have heard this as well but never received a proper explanation?

    1. Apparently he understood that a written word, even on a screen, is a written word, and must be treated (at least for Torah matters) as such.

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