Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Bar Mazal

Literally: The son of luck
Idiomatically: Lucky, fortunate

Like many words in Hebrew, "bar" has many meanings: From wheat, to wilderness, to pure, to son. Actually this phrase uses the last one, which is Aramaic (Proverbs 31:2). Aside from this generic meaning, "bar" can be strung together in a phrase to refer to someone with specific characteristics. You can attach many suffixes to the word "bar" as in "Bar daat" meaning someone intelligent. We are most familiar with it used in "Bar mitzvah."

Meanwhile, "Bar mazal" can be used to denote someone who is lucky or successful. "Aizeh bar mazal, hu zacha bapayis," - What a lucky person he won the lottery. Me? I never win anything. On the other hand I never buy a ticket eitherů BTW, there used to be a pub in Tel Aviv named Bar Mazal, but I think it went bankrupt.

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