Over the years a few people have wondered by I close my posts by writing B”H. A few folks thought that they were my initials or some kind of online ‘handle.’ Obviously this isn’t the case. Others, not wanting to venture a guess, have simply asked. I just read a short article on aish.com (which sparked this post) entitled “Thank God” which opens up saying:
“Mah nishma?” is the Hebrew version of “What’s new?” It’s an innocuous, universal greeting which needn’t mean much more than a passing hello. The answer given is usually Baruch Hashem — Thank God, which can mean anything from “Great!” to “Don’t even ask. My enemies should have my troubles!” Often, upon hearing a dubious sounding Baruch Hashem, the questioner will respond with, “Gee, what’s wrong?”
So B”H (ב”ה) stands for Baruch Hashem (ברוך השם — lit. blessed be the name) which the author of the article uses to mean thank God. This is a bit different from how I use it though. I use it to mean “Blessed be God” (Hashem being a circumlocution for the divine name). It’s simply a way for me to bless God at the end of every post. I could just as easily end them all with a hallelujah but I’ve been doing this for a number of years, before I was blogging even.
B”H (ב”ה) can also stand for Be’ezrat Hashem (בעזרת השם) which means “With God’s help.” You’ll see a lot of yeshiva students using it in this manner when they write. If I were to use it this way then I think it would be more appropriate to begin the post with it rather than end it but I’m not sure if there’s a proper protocol for that or not. I’m also sure that if I were to ask for God’s help in composing these posts then they’d be a lot better than they are right now!
So that’s that…