Friday, August 27, 2010

The Dreaded Phrase of Death

Jellybean got engaged. Yes, yes Mazal Tov. It was over the summer, and it was to a guy she was dating for quite some time now. Initially, my reaction was contentment and then it started getting cool.

Then it started getting annoying.

I was never a fan of the Dreaded Phrase of Death, "Im yirtza Hashem by you." It's such a beautiful bracha that comes across as so condescending. If you'll notice, a single person who is dating almost NEVER says it. Why? Because he/she is afraid that you will say it right back. They don't want to hear it. They don't want to be reminded of the fact that they are still single. It matters not if they are just starting out, been dating for years, or even just about to get engaged themselves. It makes people nervous.

Jelly Bean knew that I hated this phrase. That's why I gave her a pass when she jokingly said it to me. But I did not give the guy who sits next to me in shul a pass when he said it when I walked into shul last Friday night. Nor did I give him a pass when he said it again right before Kabalas Shabbos. Nor did I give him a pass when he said it after davening. Let's just say it's a good thing I went somewhere else for shacharis the next day (another benifit to NY, all you one-shul OOTs).

My hatred for this phrase dates back to early 2010 when I flew in for a friends wedding, arrived at the chosson's tisch, and gave him (the chosson, not the tisch) a huge hug. He responded with the dreaded phrase of death to which I responded "stop bragging." This is because no matter how genuine you intend on sounding, it always comes out negative, especially if you found your "by you" recently.

Now, I'm sure there are many of you out there who are shocked an appalled by my dislike for the Dreaded Phrase of Death. "It's such a nice thing to say," you are probably saying. Well, either you haven't started dating, already (at least) engaged or are in a small minority of those remaining. There is no correct way of saying it. Don't do it. DOWN WITH THE DREADED PHRASE OF DEATH!!!


  1. lol - great post

    I also hated that phrase, although was able to see beyond it's annoying features to realize that when said to you by good friends they actually mean it in a good why and while it may annoy me it is ultimately a beautiful bracha and I'll take anything that may help especially when I know it is sincere. (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

    At my wedding I said to a a friend of mine at the chossons tisch said dreaded line. I knew he hated the line and that's why I said it. He didn't like the fact that I said it and when he made that clear to me I slapped him. :) Good times, good times. (While I said it because he hated it, I sincerely meant it.)

    The truth is, it got much easier when I started dating my wife seriously. The "IY"H by you's" were actually really cool and I used to think to myself "you have no idea".

  2. Yeah... but you've got something on the burner, at least ;-)

  3. Eh. I hear both sides to the argument, but my approach is: if you're being given a bracha, take it?

    Who's Jelly Bean?

  4. Agreed fully- I never pondered this before, but now that I am, I have heard it countless times (4 married siblings, many friends etc- im 24) and never once did it make me feel good or give me some kind of hope. It usually made me feel uncomfortable and there is no natural response to it.
    Brachos? Without getting into a hashkafa debate about the efficaciousness of on-the-fly brachos from people who don't even know Torah, I will say that at the very least you should not go around assuming people want your brachos. To the extreme: "Here is my bracha to you that you should stop being very ugly" - would you like hearing that, even if it were true?

  5. Jellybean is my sister. It was pointed out that it is one word.

  6. Okay Juggy. Thank you for clarifying.