It is today 9 Av (Tisha beAv) during which the Jews are still mourning after a few millennia about the destruction of the two Jewish temples.
I saw someone yesterday wishing others “A Gitten Chorben”.
I was at first quite shocked to hear that expression which literally means something like: “A good destruction”. (Greeting in its essence is not allowed (see Shulchan Aruch 554:20).)
So I decided to find out more about that expression and found indeed on some places on the Internet the same saying. But I still was (and am) looking for sources.
Someone then told me about another expression.
The Jewish Portuguese Kehilla in Amsterdam has the custom to say after the reading of Eichah and Kinot in the pitch-dark and big synagogue, the following small sentence: “Morir havemos”.
It is a combination of Spanish and Portuguese and its meaning is: “We will die”.
I still personally prefer the second expression which also seems logic to me; it after all is simply trying to add to the spirit of the day.
But I was still trying to find some sources and the origin of the Yiddish greeting “A Gitten Chorben”.
We know the known passage from the Talmud which proclaims:
(כל המתאבל על ירושלים זוכה ורואה בשמחתה (תענית ל ע”ב
“Those who mourn for Jerusalem will merit to seeing Her rejoicing” (Talmud Bavli, Tractate Taanis, 30-2)
Could it thus be that when someone says “A Gitten Chorben” to an acquaintance, s/he means to wish the other person that s/he will merit to fulfill the Mitzvah (Command) of our sages (כל המתאבל על ירושלים זוכה ורואה בשמחתה) to its best and subsequently merit seeing Jerusalem in Her rejoicing?
Please let me know and share your thoughts and eventual sources by commenting on this article, thanks.