Baruch Hashem (ברוך השם) is Hebrew for “Blessed be G‑d,” and is used by Jewish people in everyday conversation as a way of expressing gratitude to G‑d for whatever we have.

It is commonly used in pleasantries exchanged upon meeting. So when you are asked “How are you?” the appropriate response is “Baruch Hashem, fine.”

It also comes up later in conversations as well. Typical uses would be “Baruch Hashem we found a parking spot so close to Chaim’s preschool this morning” or “I dropped that carton of eggs, but baruch Hashem none of them broke.”

It is often placed on the top of personal letters (or emails), sometimes abbreviated as B"H or ב"ה. (Read more about that here).

Yiddish equivalents are G-tt tzu danken (ג-ט צו דאנקן) and G-tt tzu loybn (ג-ט צו לויבן), which mean “thank G‑d” and “praise G‑d” respectively.

In Ladino, it was common to say gracias a Di-o (“thanks to G‑d”) and bendicho al Di-o (“blessing to G‑d”).

In the Bible

The phrase baruch Hashem appears several times in Torah, curiously almost always uttered by non-Jews. Some examples:

After Abraham was victorious over Chedorlaomer and rescued his nephew Lot, Malchizedek the king of Salem proclaimed, “And blessed be the Most High G‑d, Who has delivered your adversaries into your hand.”1

Then after Abraham’s servant Eliezer finds a suitable match for Isaac, he says, “Blessed is G‑d (baruch Hashem), the G‑d of my master, Abraham, Who has not forsaken …”2

This same phrase is said by Jethro, who praised G‑d for saving the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and suffering.3

It appears again and again in the Prophets and Writings, including Samuel,4 Kings,5 Zechariah,6 Psalms,7 Ruth,8 Ezra9 and Chronicles,10 reflecting how the phrase had worked its way into common parlance.

The Chassidic Perspective

When we say baruch Hashem, we invite G‑d into our conversation, making Him a regular feature of our lives and remaining conscious that everything is from Above.

It is said that the Baal Shem Tov placed great value upon these simple replies and would seek out unlettered Jews and inquire about their wellbeing, in large part to elicit their wholehearted praise of G‑d.

In one village he approached a parush, an ascetic who had spent 50 years in isolated prayer and Torah study, and asked him how he was doing.

Wishing to continue his solitary devotions, the parush waved him away.

"Rabbi," the Baal Shem Tov asked, "why are you denying G‑d His livelihood?"

“G‑d’s livelihood?!” the parush fumed. “What are you saying? What could G‑d, the creator of all, possibly need?" he demanded. "How dare you disturb me with such blasphemous nonsense!”

Undeterred, the Baal Shem Tov, cited the verse in Psalms: “And You, the Holy One, Who dwells by the praises of Israel.”11

"We subsist on the sustenance that G‑d provides us in His great kindness,” the Baal Shem Tov continued. “But what does G‑d 'subsist' on? On the praises of Israel! When one Jew asks another how things are going and his fellow responds by praising and thanking the Almighty, they are nourishing G‑d, deepening His involvement with His creation.”12