"touch wood" / "Inch'allah" in Hebrew?


Senior Member
English (Ireland)

I was just wondering if there was a Hebrew equivalent for these phrases.
The context is an injured person, being examined by an Israeli with some medical experience.
"Will she live?"
"Yes [please God/hopefully/touch wood]"

  • ks20495

    Senior Member
    Hebrew and English
    There are a two common Jewish sayings that mean "God willing":
    בְּעֶזְרַת הַשֵּׁם - with God's help
    אִם יִרְצֶה הַשֵּׁם - if God will want [it]

    You can also colloquially say "אינשללה" (Inshallah) or "לִדְפוֹק עַל הָעֵץ" (knock on wood). However, I wouldn't use them in a very serious or pressing situation.


    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Thank you! How would I transliterate those into latin script?
    Just another little bit of context - the speaker is quite a sarcastic person and the injury is not anything life-threatening.


    Senior Member
    Hebrew and English
    בעזרת השם - be'ezRAT haSHEM
    אם ירצה השם - eem yirTZEH haSHEM
    אינשללה - eenSHAla
    לדפוק על העץ - leedFOK al ha'ETZ

    (capital letters denote stress)

    If the situation is not tense, all four are fine. But, the second two are definitely not traditional and not formal.


    Senior Member
    i would use only בעזרת השם be'ezrat hashem in this case

    אם ירצה השם (if god wants) is usually more like when you make a plan
    if god wants, i am flying to america next week

    i'm not really familiar with the "knock on wood" phrase. although i know that some people knock on wood when they talk about bad scenarios

    inshalla is like be'ezrat hashem
    but i wouldn't use Inshalla too, because sometimes it has bad connotations
    like: "god take you inshalla", "die inshalla"..
    still, sometimes inshalla can be good too


    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Actually, "touch wood," or "knock on wood" in English has been discussed in Maayan's thread טפו טפו בלי עין הרע
    בלי עין הרע
    literally meaning "without/no evil eye"

    I think this translation may be closer because it includes the element of superstition that is inherent in both the Hebrew and English expression. By the way, this expression is used in Yiddish also (קיין עין הרע) and is still used by American Jews of a certain vintage to express the idea of warding off bad luck when mentioning something fortunate that has happened.



    Senior Member
    Hebrew and English
    It does. You can say, for example: הלוואי שיירד שלג = I wish it would snow.

    Or, for example:
    א: אומרים שיירד שלג מחר (They say it's going to snow tomorrow.)
    ב: הלוואי (I hope so)
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