Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Btzel HaChochma: Is Everyone A Shlita Or Shetichye?

There are a variety of acronyms used to address people, including Shlita, Neiro Yair, Hashem Yosif V'Ya'arich, Yichye, and for women SheTichye. They all are different variation of wishing them long life. Must they be used when addressing a fellow Jew or is it only for tzadikim?

Rav Betzalel Stern in Btzel HaChochma (6:76) says that although when mentioning a person orally, the minhag is only to use these phrases for tzadikim, nevertheless the minhag is that in a letter we use it to address not only tzadikim but every member of Klal Yisroel, V'Ameich Kulam Tzadikim.

This only needs to be done the first time the name is mentioned and not every subsequent time throughout the letter. We see this from the Torah by Noach where the Torah mentions his name and calls him a tzadik, but not every time.

He says this minhag originates from the Mahari Mintz who deduces that when there was a great dispute in Poland in the 16th century between the great gedolim Rav Yaakov Margulies and Rav Yaakov Pollack, R. Margulies must have put R. Pollack in Cheirem because he wrote his name in a letter without using any acronym for long life after R. Pollack's name. From here, says the Btzel HaChochma we see that we should always give a bracha after mentioning a person's name in a letter.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.