Many of you probably are curious about this convention.
Jews do not pronounce the name YHWH in the Torah text. They substitute the word for LORD Adonay instead. This is even when they are reading out of the text or saying blessings for ceremonial purposes.
When they are just speaking casually about God, they use the word Hashem, which means The Name. Its use seems to be derived from the verses in Leviticus 24:10-16 that speak of cursing The Name:
Leviticus 24:10-16 (New International Version)
A Blasphemer Stoned
10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12 They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them.
13 Then the LORD said to Moses: 14 "Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.
In the film Nativity Story maybe you noticed that when Joseph blesses the bread (that he later feeds to his donkey!) he uses the word Ado-Shem, which is a more recent Jewish invention combining Adonay and Hashem. Look at about 5' into this clip:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU0vm91Ds1E&feature=related
An Orthodox Jew was used as an advisor to this film and I wrote to him to ask about this wording. He was rather rude to me.
It also turns out that the man who wrote the Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin dialogue for Gibson's Passion of the Christ worked on Nativity Story as well and in an email he complained about the word "Ado-shem" as an unnecessary invention.
Here are the two advisors:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Fulcohttp://www.roydoliner.com/