When do we wish Gemar Hatima Tova , Hatima Tova and Gemar Tov? What are the differences between the three? Does it relate to the High Holiday schedule?

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    Welcome to MiYodeya Avi and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us! – mbloch Sep 14 '18 at 3:25

Based on a combo of when I have heard people use these expressions as well as my rabbi's explanation.

Gemar Hatima Tova - is the "full" expression and can be used beginning from the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanna, though, most use it once Rosh Hashannah is over, i.e. beginning the night of 3 Tishrei. It connotes that during Rosh Hashannah one's fate is written and at this point, we wish that the recipient be sealed for good life.

I have not heard the 2nd phrase you mentioned.

G'mar Tov is just a shortcut version of the 1st phrase.

  • Hatima Tova is a shortcut, I often hear "Shana tova, hatima tova" – mbloch Sep 14 '18 at 3:49

Following this answer of Rabbi David Chai Hacohen the Ashkenazi Jews bless Gemar Hatima Tova while the Sepharadic Jews - Hatima Tova only. The Ashkenazim mean that the Hatima will be good up to its end (maybe Hoshana Raba). Gemar Tov as was mentioned above is a shortage for it.

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