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'

  • 2
    Thanks for the edit, chana, and note your question's been reopened. Welcome to Mi Yodeya, where I hope that you get good, sourced answers to this and your future questions, and that you also post some sourced answers of your own. – msh210 Mar 17 '14 at 3:55
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/69466 – msh210 Mar 17 '16 at 20:59

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.

  • Aside from humor, what did this add over the final paragraph of my answer? – Y     e     z May 14 '15 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 Mar 17 '14 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. – Y     e     z Mar 17 '14 at 20:18
  • I suppose my usage is just one specific example of your, more general, message. – Lee Mar 17 '14 at 20:21
  • There is a hand gesture against ayen hara (from the Talmud) I think something to do with covering your thumbs – hazoriz May 15 '16 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.

  • 1
    Yet we pray for things. – msh210 Mar 17 '14 at 19:44
  • Agreed. I would just say "B'ezrat Hashem" as @ray wrote above. – Lee Mar 17 '14 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 May 14 '15 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.

  • Yoram, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for your first answer! If you haven’t done so already, you should take a look at the tour. I hope you find more Q&A of interest and stay learning with us! – mbloch May 15 '16 at 3:30

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