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Holiday or Event

Greeting in (H)ebrew or (Y)iddish

Pronunciation

Meaning

Usage

Shabbat or Sabbath

(Every Friday night toSaturday night)

Shabbat Shalom (H)

shah-BAHT shah-LOHM

Lit. Sabbath of peace

Anytime from Fridaynight to Saturday night.

Gut Shabbos (Y)

Good Shabbos (E)

GOOT SHAH-biss

Good SHAH-biss

Lit. Good sabbath

Gut is from the Germanguten, meaning good. This is where the phrase good shabbos comes from.

Anytime from Friday night to Saturday night.Communities tend to use this to greet each other or when leaving each other.

Shavuah Tov (H)

Shah-VOO-ah tohv

Lit. Good week

Don’t use thisgreeting until Saturday night when the Sabbath is over. That is marked by aceremony called Havdallah.

Rosh Hashanah

(1 - 2 Tishrei)

L'shanah tova tikatevuv'tichatemu (H)

Or shortened to

L’shana tova (H)

li-shah-NAH toh-VAHtick-ah-TEVU v’TICH-ah-teh-MOO

li-shah-NAH toh-VAH

Lit. May you beinscribed and sealed for a good year

Lit. A good year

Perfect for justbefore and during Rosh Hashanah.  Can be used after but don’t use it just before or during Yom Kippur.

Shanah Tovah U’metuka(H)

shah-NAH tov-VAHU-met-too-KAH

Lit. A good and sweetyear

Yom Kippur

(10 Tishrei)

Have an easy fast (E)or

Have an easy andmeaningful fast

n/a

Since this is aserious holiday and a fasting day, other greetings are not appropriate

The night leading upto Yom Kippur or all day during Yom Kippur. Not appropriate after sundown.

G'mar Chatima Tova (H)

GAH-mar CHAH-TEAMAHtoh-VAH

Lit. May you be sealedin the book of life

These are appropriatefor leading up to and through Yom Kippur. Since the book of life is sealed atthe end of Yom Kippur, you don’t want to use it afterwards.

G'mar Tov (H)

GAH-mar tohv

Lit. Finish well

Sukkot

(15 - 20 Tishrei)

Chag Sameach (H)

CHAHG sah-MEHY-ahCH

Lit. Joyous or happyfestival

Can be used on manyholidays but very appropriate for Sukkot since it is considered a festival.Appropriate anytime during the holiday.

Gut Yuntif (Y)

GOOT YUHN-tiff

Lit. Good holiday

Can be used on anyholiday.

Simchat Torah

(23 Tishrei)

Gut Yuntif (Y)

GOOT YUHN-tiff

Lit. Good holiday

Can be used on anyholiday.

Chanukkah

(25 Kislev - 3 Tevet)

Happy Chanukkah (E)

n/a

n/a

These are simple! Usethem all 8 days!

 

Chanukkah Sameach (H)

chan-ooh-kah ah-MEHY-ahCH

Lit. Happy Chanukkah!

Tu B'Shevat

(15 Shevat)

No real greeting herebut you can say, Happy Birthday Trees!

 

 

 

Purim

(14 Adar)

Chag Sameach (H)

CHAHGsah-MEHY-ahCH

Lit. Joyous or happyfestival

Can be used on mostholidays. Appropriate anytime during the holiday.

Gut Yuntif (Y)

GOOT YUHN-tiff

Lit. Good holiday

Can be used on anyholiday.

Chag PurimSameach (H)

CHAHG POOR-im sah-MEHY-ahCH

Lit. Happy Purimfestival

This incorporatesPurim into the generic greeting.

Pesach (or Passover) (15 - 22 Nisan)

Chag Sameach (H)

CHAHGsah-MEHY-ahCH

Lit. Joyous or happyfestival

Can be used on manyholidays but very appropriate for Pesach since it is considered a festival.Appropriate anytime during the holiday.

Gut Yuntif (Y)

GOOT YUHN-tiff

Lit. Good holiday

Can be used on anyholiday.

Chag PesachSameach (H)

CHAHG pay-SAHCH sah-MEHY-ahCH

Lit. Happy Passoverfestival

This incorporatesPesach into the generic greeting.

Chag Kashrut Pesach(H)

CHAHG kahsh-ROOTpay-SAHCH

Lit. Happy kosherPassover

This is a great onebecause it is a reminder that our laws of Kashrut are different duringPesach.

Shavuot

(6 - 7 Sivan)

Chag Sameach (H)

CHAHGsah-MEHY-ahCH

Lit. Joyous or happyfestival

Can be used on manyholidays but very appropriate for Shavuot since it is considered a festival.Appropriate anytime during the holiday.

Gut Yuntif (Y)

GOOT YUHN-tiff

Lit. Good holiday

Can be used on anyholiday.

Tisha B'Av

(9 Av)

This is a holidaywithout greetings. It is a day of mourning and many Jews won’t even greet youwith a hello or hi. Don’t worry about greeting Jews on this holiday. It is avery somber day. Check out Patheos.com for more information.

When something goodhas happened

Mazel Tov (H)

MAH-zal TAH-V

Lit. Good luck

But this is differentthan English… You say it like, You had a new baby, what good luck… Mazal Tov.Incorrect usage – “Mazal Tov on your test today honey.” Past, not futureluck. Anything good happens? Mazal Tov. New job, baby, marriage.

A toast

L'Chayim (H)

lee-CHIGH-eem

Lit. To life

It’s a cheers. You canuse it to punctuate a toast or all by itself.

Congrats on a job welldone

Yashe koach (H)

YAY-she KOH-ahCH

Lit. You should havestrength… wait, What? Yeah, colloquially it means job well done or good job

Most often you willhear this in synagogue when some one does something to help with the service(like read the Torah) but it can be used outside as well.

For a sneeze

Labriut (H)

laab-ree-OOT

Lit. To health

Uhh, when someonesneezes!

Gesundheit (Y)

Ge-ZUND-hayt

Lit. Health

When a baby is born

Mazal Tov Al HoledetHaben (H)

MAH-zal TAH-V allhoe-leadit HA-ben

Congratulations on thebirth of a son

For a baby boy

Mazal Tov Al HoledetHabat (H)

MAH-zal TAH-V allhoe-leadit HA-baat

Congratulations on thebirth of a daughter

For a baby girl

When someone dies

Baruch dayan ha'emet(H)

bah-ROOCH dai-yaan haa-EMET

Lit. Blessed be theJudge of Truth

(This is our way ofsaying we accept the unacceptable)

You may hear this whensomeone mentions the name of a person who has recently died or written on theirFacebook.

Hamakom y'nachemetchem b'toch sh'ar availai tziyon ee yerushalayim (H)

(it’s more likely thatyou will write this, forgive me for not translating here)

Lit. May God comfortyou among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

This is traditionallysaid to the mourner. It’s nice to include in a FB message or card.

Please

Be׳vakasha(H)

BEH-vah-kah-SHAH

Lit. With a request…or just please!

As often as possible.Always say please and thank you. :)

Thank you

Toda (H)

toe-DAH

Lit. Thank you

How to sign an email

B’hatzlacha (H)

BEH-CHatz-lah-CHAH

Lit. With success

or Good luck

Lovely way to sign anemail

Underlined sounds are the CH or KH sound. This is the guttural sound that is distinctive of Hebrew.

This guide is an original creation of Talia Davis for Patheos. © 2009 Patheos