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Mazel tov

Mazel tov or mazal tov (Hebrew: מזל טוב, Hebrew: "mazal tov"; Yiddish: "mazel tov") is a phrase used to express congratulations for a happy and significant occasion or event. The expression derives from Biblical Hebrew mazal meaning "constellation" or "destiny" (2 Kings 23:5). While the words mazal ("luck" or "fortune") and tov ("good") are Hebrew in origin, the phrase is of Yiddish origin, and was later incorporated into Modern Hebrew.

Although mazel tov literally translates to "good luck", the phrase is not used in the way that the expression "good luck" is typically used in English (i.e. "I wish you good luck"). It rather means "good luck has occurred" or "your fortune has been good" and is an acknowledgement of this fact (i.e. "lucky you"). The phrase "mazel tov!" parallels the use of the phrase "congratulations!" and conveys roughly that "I am pleased this good thing has happened to you!"

In the diaspora, mazel tov! is a common Jewish phrase, such as after a bar or bat mitzvah or a wedding, the congregation may be inclined to shout "Mazel Tov!" For instance, at a Jewish wedding, after the groom breaks the glass everyone yells "Mazel Tov!" In addition it is one of the most well known cultural references that non-Jews know regarding Jews.

In Israel, "mazal tov" is used for all sorts of happy occasions, whether they be a new driver's license, a birthday or the end of military service.