Passing Phrase -

Shvor Regel

Literally: Break a leg
Idiomatically: Good luck

One of the strange Hebrew phrases that probably came from English. Words sharing the root of "Shvor" ש,ב,ר, 'shin-bet reish' meaning to break, can be found readily in the Bible and in many Jewish sources. The first showing up in Genesis (19:9) when the people of Sodom wanted to break ("Lishbor") down the doors of Lot, who committed the terrible crime of hosting guests in his home.

The real question is, where did this weird phrase come from? There are many theories: Most say it came from the theater – some believe that people used to throw coins to the actors, so the phrase refers to breaking your leg trying to get coins after a successful play. Others link it to the bows taken at the end of the play. Others link it to Sarah Bernhart who broke her leg on stage in 1915. But the strangest one I read was that it is a corruption from the Yiddish

" הצלחה און ברכה " "Hatzlucha un brucha" ("success and blessing")

which was corrupted to "Hans un beinbruch" in German which means breaking your neck and legs.

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