I thought that שליט"א came from the Aramaic word שליט (Ruler). But a Rabbi I told this to, pointed out that שליט"א is always written as with " , in the Middle so each the letters must stand for something. (But he didn't know what it stood for.)
Does anyone know If and What does שליט"א does stand for?


For what it's worth, the Otzar of Roshei Teivot on Bar Ilan lists both שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים ארוכים and שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים אמן. I prefer the latter, because the former is redundant, as pointed out by @DoubleAA in a comment above.

However, the best evidence one could have in this situation is to see if this phrase was ever written out in full form. In searching for various forms of the expanded words, I was unable to find any one who wished another person "שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים ארוכים" in a full written form. I was, however, able to find a significant authority who blessed people "שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים אמן" in full written form. Rav David Zvi Hoffman (Shu"t Melamed Leho'il 2:127) writes:

ואחר כל אלה הדברים גם אני מסכים עם כבוד מעלתו שמצוה על קהלתו להבדל ולהפרש מחברת המדיחים האלה ולהשתדל לקנות בית הקברות מיוחד בעד היראים שיחיו לארך ימים טובים אמן.  

I feel this is the closest you can get to a "proof" or "source" one way or another, and I leave it in the hands of the voters.

See also https://judaism.codidact.com/posts/280012 with the comments there.

  • RDZH lived about 150 years ago, but the acronym has been around for centuries. An earlier source would be better...
    – Double AA
    Jan 22 at 16:35
  • I agree, but I couldn't find one. As an aside, how many centuries has it been popularly used for, as opposed to other blessings (such as שיחיה לאורך ימים שונים), or other similar phrases? @DoubleAA Jan 22 at 17:00
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    @רבות מחשבות A belated Thank You! Is in order. Just as you said I found שליט"א it spelled out in R. Dovid Hoffman's תשובות. This is the best proof.
    – Sochacz
    Feb 2 at 2:59
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    @Sochaz thanks, glad to hear it answered your question! Feb 2 at 3:44

שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים ארוכים

Who should live for a length of many good days.

  • לאורך ארוכים?? seems quite redundant
    – Double AA
    Jan 22 at 2:05
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    Yeah, I had that observation when I was trying to translate it. Maybe it's something along the lines of וְאַבְרָהָ֣ם זָקֵ֔ן בָּ֖א בַּיָּמִ֑ים.
    – The GRAPKE
    Jan 22 at 2:26
  • why would an acronym have a hey if the final word begins with an aleph?
    – rosends
    Jan 22 at 2:37
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    @rosends Have never seen this with a heh. Refer he.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%98%22%D7%90
    – The GRAPKE
    Jan 22 at 2:50
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    Pretty sure the א at the end stands for אמן
    – Shimon bM
    Jan 22 at 7:43

Sheyikhye Le'orech Yamim Tovim Amen (per wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorifics_in_Judaism#:~:text='Shlit%22a'%20(or,someone's%20child's%20Rebbe%20(teacher).)

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