Balint Nogradi (Grinnell College, Iowa) wrote:
I noticed that often after the name of a great Rabbi, the word "Shlita" is written. What does this mean? Thank you.
The term "Shlita" is actually an acronym, and stands for the words "Sheyichye L'orech Yamim Tovim Aruchim." This means that we pray that he "will live many long and good days." As a word, "Shlita" means that the Rabbi is a person of "leadership."
Another term often written as a Bracha when addressing someone is "Amosh" which is spelled: Ayin, Mem, Vav, Shin. This stands for "Ad Me'ah V'esrim Shana." That is to say: "May You Live To Be 120!"
Of course, Judaism doesn't have a monopoly on acronyms. The military is also a big fan of them.
Two U.S. army officers once passed a new recruit who was on cleaning duty. "Don't forget to clean off the B.R.T." said one of them, pointing to a big round metal object.
"Boy, how do you know all the names of all the different machinery?" marveled a fellow officer. "And what does B.R.T. stand for, anyway?"
"Big Round Thing," he answered.