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?

  • 3
    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
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 15:48

3 Answers 3


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.


With regards to saying "אם ירצה ה" - 'G-d willing' the Shlah HaKodesh writes in Shaar Osiyos, Emes V'Emunah the following:

בכלל דביקות האמונה שיאמר על כל פעולה שרוצה לעשות אפילו לזמן קרוב יאמר אעשה זה אם ירצה השם, הן שיהיה דבר גדול או דבר קטן. וסימנך (משלי יט, כא) עצת ה' היא תקום. היא ראשי תיבות אם ירצה השם, ואז תקום

Regarding the principle of the clinging of faith that one should say on every action that he wants to do, even for something in the near future, he should say 'G-d willing', whether it be for a big thing or a small thing. And the siman for this is, (Proverbs 19:211) "But it is the LORD’s plan" (וַעֲצַ֥ת ה' הִ֣יא) - the word "הִ֣יא" is roshei teivos (i.e. the letters spell out) אם ירצה השם - (when this is on the mind) then "that is accomplished".

1 The pasuk writes: רַבּ֣וֹת מַחֲשָׁב֣וֹת בְּלֶב־אִ֑ישׁ וַעֲצַ֥ת ה' הִ֣יא תָקֽוּם - Many designs are in a man’s mind, But it is the LORD’s plan that is accomplished.


The Sefer Chasidim 82 writes:

בעודך חי דרוש התשובה ואל תאחר כי המות בא פתאום אל תרבה לדבר מבלי זכר הצור פן יקשה הלב והלב הקשה רחוק מהאלהים ואל תביט בחטאי בני אדם הממשיכין זמן רב בעולם ולומר כבר נשתכח ונשתכחו חטאיהם

While you live seek repentance and do not delay, because death comes suddenly. Do not speak at length without remembering the Lord (to say “may it be His will,”) lest the heart become hard. And a hardened heart is one that is distant from God. Do not look at the sins of men who enjoy prolonged lives on this earth, saying, “their sins have long ago been forgotten.” (Sefaria translation)

The mefarshim on this piece explain that this is explicitly referencing using the term "אם ירצה ה". For example see here, the peirush there notes that when it says "אל תרבה לדבר מבלי זכר הצור" - "Do not speak at length without remembering the Lord" - it writes:

ר"ל שתאמר אם ירצה ה

This means that you should say "May it be Hashem's will"

Similarly, refer to the Reishis Chochmah (Ohr Olam 12:8) where it writes:

לעולם אל יאמר אדם לעשות דבר אלא בגזרת המקום, שנאמר (משלי יט, כא) רבות מחשבות וגו

A person should never say that he will do anything other than with the decree/help of Hashem - as it says in Mishlei 19:21 "Many are the thoughts..."

Whilst on the face of it, that doesn't expressly list the practise of using the terminology as asked in the OP, there is a Midrash brought down in the Otzar Midrashim p.273 (see the end of the third paragraph) which repeats this teaching of the Reishis Chochmah and add in brackets at the end :

(אם ירצה השם)


Just to summarize the above answers and add the source for biseyata dishmaya:

  1. Regarding be’ezrat hashem: As @DanF mentioned Yitro says Baruch Hashem: וַיֹּ֘אמֶר֮ יִתְרוֹ֒ בָּר֣וּךְ יְהֹוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר הִצִּ֥יל אֶתְכֶ֛ם מִיַּ֥ד מִצְרַ֖יִם וּמִיַּ֣ד פַּרְעֹ֑ה אֲשֶׁ֤ר הִצִּיל֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם מִתַּ֖חַת יַד־מִצְרָֽיִם׃. “Blessed be יהוה,” Jethro said, “who delivered you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians." We find that Rishonim already started using this phrase as well (See Yechaveh Daat 3:78)

  2. Regarding im yirtzeh hashem: As @Dov mentioned the Shlah HaKodesh in Shaar Osiyos, Emes V'Emunah, he talks about אם ירצה ה (and others).

  3. Regarding biseyata dishmaya: The earliest I found to use it is Rabbeinu Chananel Shabbat 92b, " דברי הכל פטור מג׳ ועד י׳ באין למחלוקת ר׳ עקיבא ורבנן ושמעתא דכל פחות מג׳ כלבוד דמי גמרא גמירי לה ובהא דוכתי מפרשי לה כתיקונה בסייעתא דשמיא והא מלתא דאמרנה לענין קם אביי בשיטתיה דרבא דפרישנא הדר מן מימריה ואמר כמימריה דרבא והוי תרווייהו שיטה אית לה דומיא בכמה דוכתי מגמרא.

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