Mazal Tov

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‘Good luck’, the usual greeting or congratulations for a happy event or some particular achievement. The word mazal means a planet and the word tov means good so that the expression ‘Good Mazal’ obviously has its origin in a belief in astrology. Nowadays, the phrase has lost its astrological connotation and is no more than an expression of goodwill. In congratulatory telegrams the expression is usually in the form of a single word, Mazaltov. In Yiddish parlance an unfortunate person prone to mishaps is called a shlimazal (‘one without luck’) as in the English ‘he is unlucky’.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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