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Is a response necessary when one receives a verbal ye’shar coch’echa?  Is “thank you” proper?  I’ve heard people utter baruch te’hyeh.  Please explain the meanings, derivations etc

Rabbi Scheim responds...

“Yishar koah” is the traditional way of saying “well done,” after one has an honour.  It translates literally as: “may your strength be firm,” and derives from a time when the Torah reader would hold the scroll upright while reading the text, requiring considerable strength. The classical response to “yishar koah” is “barukh tihiyeh”, meaning “may you [also] be blessed.”
“Thank you” would be a much weaker response, since it does not offer wishes to the person congratulating you for your honour.

 

Thu, 5 December 2019 7 Kislev 5780