l'chatchila (l'chat-KHEE-luh) listen


  • adv. "Occurring at the beginning; at first; initially." (Weiser, Frumspeak)

  • adv. "Done in the best possible way; optimally." (Weiser, Frumspeak)

  • adv. "To begin with; altogether." (Weiser, Frumspeak)

Example Sentences

  • "Lechatchila you should try to learn far from the door, so you don't get distracted by people coming in and out." (Weiser)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Aramaic


  • לכתחילה "at first"

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • Great Britain
      • South Africa


      • 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

      lechatchillah, lechatchilah, lekhatkhile, l'chatchila, l'chatchilah, lechatchila


  • Usually contrasted with "bedieved," to describe an action that should only be undertaken as a last result, or ex post facto. Steinmetz's "Dictionary of Jewish Usage" mistakenly has the definition for "bedieved" repeated under both "bedieved" and "lechatchilah."

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