I have noticed that when I give money to people who collect in shul, they often respond by saying "tizkeh l'mitzvos."

Are there any sources before relatively recently for using this phrase?

  • I think the phrase is "tizku l'mitzvos." – ezra Sep 11 '17 at 14:24
  • 1
    @ezra tizku is plural of tizke – Moshe Steinberg Sep 11 '17 at 14:27
  • To clarify, are you just looking for examples of this being used in speech as a blessing, or are you looking for any source that refers to having the zekhut of performing a mitsvah? – mevaqesh Sep 11 '17 at 20:25
  • @mevaqesh I would like a source for such a phrase, in terms of the actual bracha, i'm fine with it – Moshe Steinberg Sep 11 '17 at 21:37
  • 1. חשוקי חמד תוכן העניינים על הגמרא . האם מותר לומר תודה או תזכו למצוות לאחר ההלוואה [ב"מ עה ע"ב]1982. האם מותר 2. עלי תמר שקלים פרק ב שאם אדם נותן תרומה של צדקה המקבל אומר תזכה למצוות או תזכו למצוות. ונראה שהמקור הוא בויק"ר פל"ד אות ז, אמר ר"ז אפילו שיחה של בני א"י תורה, כיצד אדם אומר לחברו זכי בי. וביטוי זה ... – rosends Sep 11 '17 at 21:47

I don't know when common usage of this phrase began. However, from reading various articles, it appears to have been in common usage for many decades. This article seems to support the notion that at least the concept supporting the expression is from Pirkei Avot 4:2 where Ben Azai says that one should be careful to perform every "type" of mitzvah - both "easy" and "difficult" ones, because one mitzvah "pulls" (or instigates) another mitzvah, and the reward of a mitzvah is (another) mitzvah.

Rav Bartenura, in his commentary, explains the concept of the "reward" part, in that when one performs a mitzvah, in heaven, another mitzvah is prepared for that person so that the person may receive reward for both of them.

So, I gather that the idea behind the wish "tizkeh lemitzvot" is in line with Rav Bartenura's explanation. When you give tzedaka (though, the wish is not limited to hearing this from tzedaka recipients), the person is using the plural form "mitzvoth" as a hint that you should merit to be able to perform another mitzvah and receive the reward for both the tzedaka giving as well as the next mitzvah.

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