Many have the practice both in speech and in writing to mention Gd or heavenly help with the use of the expressions be’ezrat hashem, im yirtzeh hashem or biseyata dishmaya.

What is the source for this?

  • 2
    The origins are in the teaching of Chazal, based on Yosef's habit (Gen. 39:3), that the Heavenly name (God's) be a constant on one's tongue - "שם שמים שגור על פיו". The Quran (ca. 625), while impressing this same lesson on its adherents, mentions "upon any action one should invoke God's name, as is common among the Jews". Later, Jewish thinkers elaborated on this and articulated different phrases, most notably the Shelah. (Forgive my lack of linked-sources; I'm commenting from recollection to merely point in the right direction.) – Oliver Jun 12 '18 at 15:48

Citing from Wikipedia:

The book "Toldot Yitzhak" (‘The Offspring of Isaac’), by Yitzhak Karo, Yosef Karo's uncle, offers the meaning of this custom of writing ב"ה (B"H), at the top of every letter, with accordance to the biblical verse: "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths" (Book of Proverbs 3:6)."

While the source mentions Baruch Hashem, it seems logical that the other expressions are said or written for the same reason, emanating from the same Proverbs verse.

Eliezer and Yitro also used the phrase Baruch Hashem.

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