halevai (hah-leh-VAI) listen


  • interj. If only.

  • interj. "Would that it be so." (Steinmetz, Yiddish and English)

  • interj. I wish!

Example Sentences

  • "In a few years we'll celebrate at your son's bris." "Halevai!"

  • "Halevai it snowed and I wouldn't have to go to English today." (Weiser)

  • "You're making it sound like just seeing tzitzit automatically makes someone think about the mitzvot. Halevai!" (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Aramaic
  • Yiddish
  • Modern Hebrew


  • הלוואי

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      halivai, alevay, halevay, halvay, halavai, alevai

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