Contrabass part from Mazel Tov Orchestral

Composer
Yiddish
Duration
19 minutes
Genre
World music

The expression comes from the Mishnaic Hebrew mazzāl, meaning "constellation" or "destiny" (compare English "one's (lucky) stars"). The Mishnaic word derives from Biblical Hebrew mazalot (2 Kings 23:5).[1] While the words mazal (or mazel in Yiddish; "luck" or "fortune") and tov ("good") are Hebrew in origin, the phrase is of Yiddish origin, and was later incorporated into Modern Hebrew. While the Yiddish pronunciation of mazel has the stress on the first syllable, the modern Hebrew one has the stress the second syllable, as such is standard in modern Hebrew. The phrase "mazel tov" is recorded as entering into English from Yiddish in 1862.[2][1] Related is Yiddish שלימזל, transliterated as shlimazl, "misfortune",[citation needed] loaned into US English (as shemozzle, schlimazel) in the 20th century. The same words were also loaned into German, as Massel "luck" (whence also the verb vermasseln "to ruin, screw up") and Schlamassel "misfortune, disaster".[citation needed] In Polish the word ślamazara, also derived from Yiddish shlimazl, denotes a person who is slow, sluggish or lifeless.

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