Thursday, September 8, 2016

With the Help of God

"B'ezrat/Im yertzeh Hashem."

It was not until I read "Inshallah is Good for Everyone" by Wajahat Ali that I realized how gratuitously and often inappropriately we chuck about that phrase. 

Inshallah is the Arabic version of “fuggedaboudit.” It’s similar to how the British use the word “brilliant” to both praise and passive-aggressively deride everything and everyone. It transports both the speaker and the listener to a fantastical place where promises, dreams and realistic goals are replaced by delusional hope and earnest yearning.

If you are a parent, you can employ inshallah to either defer or subtly crush the desires of young children.

Boy: “Father, will we go to Toys ‘R’ Us later today?”

Father: “Yes. Inshallah.”

Translation: “There is no way we’re going to Toys ‘R’ Us. I’m exhausted. Play with the neighbor’s toys. Here, play with this staple remover. That’s fun, isn’t it?”

If you are a commitment-phobe or habitually late to events, inshallah immediately provides you with an ambiguous grace period.

Wedding Planner: “We only have the hall from 7 to 10 p.m. We’ll incur extra charges if we go past 10. Please tell me you’ll be on time.”

Wedding Attendee: “But of course! Inshallah, we’ll be there.”

Translation: “Oh, you sad, sad, silly little man. I hope you have saved a lot of money or have access to an inheritance. I’ll leave my house at 9:45 p.m.”

Inshallah is also an extremely useful tool in the modern quest for love.

Man: “So, you think we can go on a date later this week?”

Woman: “Yeah, let me think about it, inshallah.”

Translation: “No. Never. There is no way we are ever going on a date. Even if there was a zombie apocalypse and you were the last man on earth, I would not consider this an option and would rather the human species perish as a result of my decision.”

I drop about 80 inshallahs a day, give or take. I’ll get to the gym, inshallah. Yes, I’ll clean up around the house, inshallah.

C'mon. Doesn't this all sound so familiar? 

As long as we don't blame Him for us not taking care of anything.  


Daniel Saunders said...

I read something a while back (in Becoming Frum by Sarah Bunin Benor) saying that while most BTs rapidly adopt the use of Hebrew and Yiddish phrases like FFBs (or even overuse them), a minority don't use them much, considering them inauthentic to the person's real self. I thought, "That's me!" I do use some Hebrew and Yiddish, but not nearly as much as other people, and I'm not a user of "Baruch HaShem!" or "Be'ezrat HaShem!" at all. It just doesn't feel like me.

Not relevant to this post, but I thought you might appreciate this article from the latest Economist on introversion in the workplace.

Princess Lea said...

When I had to switch to "bless you" from my household "ah-see-seh" in college when others sneezed, I felt like a fraud.

As per the article, I'm all the more grateful for my isolated desk.