Blessing for a Long Life

Question

Dear Rabbi, why is there a custom that some people say to others, “May you live until 120”? Why that number? Thanks!

9 months

Answers

  1. The Torah relates that Moses lived to be one hundred and twenty years old (Deut. 34:7). That is the origin of the blessing: “May you should live until one hundred and twenty.” It is a blessing said to the person that they live a long and fulfilled life.

    My wife’s uncle always wishes people that they should live to one hundred and twenty-two so that they should not die suddenly! I’ve also heard people bless another with a higher number of years nowadays, taking into account inflation! But the traditional and widespread blessing is 120.

    However, this does not preclude the possibility of people living to be much longer than that. There are, in fact, many Scriptural personalities who lived longer than Moses did, such as the Patriarchs of the Jewish nation.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team