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‘IY”H’ is short for im yirtseh ha-shem, “if God wills it,” and the young lady’s well-wishers were telling her they hoped that, with some help from above, her turn, too, would come soon.
Finally, here are excerpts from an Internet chat room discussion I logged on to concerning ultra-Orthodox attitudes toward Zionism and the State of Israel. I have spelled the abbreviated Hebrew words according to the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the participants.
Participant 1: “We are not allowed to establish a Jewish state [while] in golus [exile].”
Participant 2: “Why do you say that it’s forbidden?”
Participant 1: “It was the opinion of the Satmar rebbe zt”l [zekher tsaddik livrokheh, “May the righteous man’s memory be a blessing”] that we can’t establish a government in E”Y [eretz yisrol, “the Land of Israel”] without Moshiach [the Messiah].”
Participant 3: “Neturei Karta [an extreme anti-Zionist group of ultra-Orthodox Jews based in Jerusalem] hugs rotzchim [murderers] who want to kill Jews. Their point is that [ultra-Orthodox rabbis who accept the State of Israel, like] Rav [Rabbi Aharon Leib] Shteinman, shlit”a [she’yikhyeh l’yomim toyvim v’arukhim — “May he live a long and good life”] and Rav [Rabbi Yosef Shalom] Elyashiv, shlit”a, are Zionists, and that those who threaten to kill them are our friends.”
Participant 4: “Neturei Karta has a point like Hitler y”sh [yemakh shmoy — “May his name be blotted out”] had a point.”
Participant 1: “I never meant that, c”v [chas ve’sholem — “God forbid”].
Participant 2: “Even though it [the State of Israel] is not Al Pi Halacha [according to Jewish law], it’s still in Jewish hands and we’re muvtach [promised] from HKB”H [ha-kodosh borukh hu — “the Holy One Blessed Be He”] that it won’t leave [that is, that it will remain forever].”
There are many more Latin-charactered Hebrew and Aramaic abbreviations of this sort currently in use in the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox worlds, such as ‘b”h’for barukh ha-shem, “God be blessed”; ‘b”n’ for bli neder, “without a vow” (commonly said after making a promise or declaring an intention in order to make clear that it is not religiously binding); ‘bs”d’ for be’siyata di’shmaya, “with the help of heaven” (frequently written at the top of a letter or written communication to invoke God’s help), etc.
The ‘a”h’ of Mr. Schranz’s letter is thus part of a widespread trend. His query about nebekh, however, will, nebekh, have to wait until next week.
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