I always use the phrase "crossing my fingers for good luck", but it's really annoying; is there a Jewish equivalent of that phrase? This is a superstition from another religion, making the symbol of that religion 'for luck'. What would a Jew use to say "I am hoping for a good result'

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    – msh210
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 3:55
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/69466
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:59

4 Answers 4


According to this article on Chabad.org,

I don’t think there is a Jewish version of crossing fingers. You could try twisting them into a Star of David, but that is more likely to bring arthritis than good luck. Besides, we don’t believe that good fortune comes from signs and gestures. We pray to G‑d, do good deeds and have faith in the future.

The language we use shapes the way we think. So rather than say “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get the job,” say “If G‑d wills it, I’ll get the job.” If it’s not meant to be, no finger contortion can change that. And if it is G‑d’s will, no “witch” can get in the way.

This article states that it is permitted to use the (Hebrew) expression מחזיק באצבע, meaning crossing fingers, but that it would be better to use a more Jewish alternative, such as מחזיק בימינך.

  • Aside from humor, what did this add over the final paragraph of my answer? Commented May 14, 2015 at 18:22

There are a few different phrases, depending on context:

If discussing something that you hope won't happen - בלי עין הרע, bli ayin hara - without the evil eye.

If discussing something, usually an event, that you are planning on having happen and hope it will happen as planned - בשעה טובה ומוצלחת, b'sha'ah tovah umutzlachas - in a good and successful time (in the right time).

If discussing something you hope to succeed in - 'בעזרת ה, b'ezras Hashem - with Hashem's help.

  • I typically use "Bli 'Ayin HaRa'ah" to indicate that I am not jealous of what someone else has (i.e. that I'm not looking upon them negatively or viewing what they have with an "evil eye").
    – Lee
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 20:15
  • @Lee I suppose that is one valid use. But "Bli Ayin HaRa'ah" just means "there should not be an evil eye," which means there should be no bad results. It is often used to mean there should be no bad results of my comments. Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 20:18
  • I suppose my usage is just one specific example of your, more general, message.
    – Lee
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 20:21
  • There is a hand gesture against ayen hara (from the Talmud) I think something to do with covering your thumbs
    – hazoriz
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 3:28

there isn't any because every result is the best possible result. see the shaar bitachon of Chovot Halevavot. it only seems bad, because we look at the present perspective while God looks from our final end perspective.

you can use "im yirtze H-shem" (God willing) or "bezrat H-shem" (with God's help). but these are just to remind you that the results are in God's hands.

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    Yet we pray for things.
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 19:44
  • Agreed. I would just say "B'ezrat Hashem" as @ray wrote above.
    – Lee
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 19:47
  • @msh210 we pray to remind ourselves that the results are in God's hands. ex. Asa who trusted in the doctors but did not pray was punished for this.
    – ray
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 17:34

Folk beliefs and customs aren't always k'din ve'halakhah. Bli Aylin hara' is much more common as the Yiddish Kayn a(yn) HO roh. If a childless person sees your two tall sons and says what two wonderful beautiful children, there was a belief that even the unintended bitterness or jealousy could bring on an evil eye which could bring illness or disaster. So the phrase is added immediately before or after the compliment. Nice house. Beautiful anything.

Mazel tov only at the conclusion of a wedding ceremony a birth a bris etc.
at an engagement a pregnancy the beginning of a project a course etc. Yiddish in a mazeldikeh shuh- Heb. b'sha'ah tova u'mutz'lakhat. In an auspicious hour. Also ok at a graduation as the graduate is commencing something as well.

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    Commented May 15, 2016 at 3:30

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