The most common responses I've heard to a wish of "l'chayim!" ("life!") is

  • "l'chayim tovim ulshalom" ("a good life and peace!") except from Lubavitch chasidim and
  • "l'chayim v'livracha" ("life and blessing!") from Lubavitch chasidim.

What is the provenance of and reason for each of these turns of phrase?


1 Answer 1


In general, I wouldn't post just a quote, but it so perfectly addressed the question...

From Hayom Yom (29th of first Adar), written/compiled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

In responding to L'chayim there are two versions:

  • L'chayim Tovim Ul'Shalom, "for good life, and for peace." The reason for this blessing is that the first time drinking wine is mentioned in the Torah, there were undesirable results. "Noach began etc."1 also, the Tree of Knowledge was a grapevine.2 Therefore we extend the blessing that this wine be for a good life.
  • The Maggid of Mezritch used to respond L'Chayim VeLivracha. Once at a Farbrengen, the Alter Rebbe responded L'Chayim VeLivracha. After the Farbrengen Chassidim discussed this expression, which they heard then for the first time.

One chassid proposed: Since "When wine enters, the secret comes out,"3 which in Avoda signifies that the emotions are revealed, we need a B'racha for this; the expression is L'Chayim VeLivracha, and "Livracha" may be read, Leiv Raka, a sensitive heart.

The Tzemach Tzedek commented: Such an interpretation could be proposed only by a Chassid who has Davened and labored in Avoda for thirty years.

1: Also translated as "Noach corrupted himself" or "profaned himself" or "degraded himself." Bereishit 9:20.
2: See Tikunei Zohar, Tikun 24.
3: Eiruvin 65a.

  • If you wanted an authoritative answer...... you got it!
    – HodofHod
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 19:56
  • Many thanks! +1 (and most likely, eventually, the checkmark). This answers my question completely except as to the provenance of l'chayim tovim ulshalom.
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 4, 2012 at 7:42
  • @msh210 I assume you're referring to the provenance of using that phrase for this purpose? Because the phrase itself is common in things like davening, and the reason for using such a phrase are explained by the Rebbe.
    – HodofHod
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 21:14
  • Yes, for this purpose.
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 21:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .