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lechatchila

Alternative Spellings

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

Definitions

  • "to begin with; altogether" (Weiser, Frumspeak)
  • "done in the best possible way; optimally" (Weiser, Frumspeak)
  • "occurring at the beginning; at first; initially" (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

Etymology

לכתחילה "at first"

Who Uses This

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

Dictionaries

Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

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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