The Lubavitcher Rebbe, the grand rabbi of Chabad hassidus, wrote...
One of the Baal Shem Tov's "holy tasks" was to use every opportunity to cause people, men, women and children, to bless G-d's name. He would ask them how they are, so that they would reply "Thank G-d", etc. My father-in-law (the Rebbe is speaking) of sainted memory, emphasized that the Baal Shem Tov would do so not only in the synogogue and at home, but also in the street and stores, and places of work; at every time and every place.
excerpted from a letter written the 15th of Tammuz, 5723.
The holy Baal Shem Tov (literally Master of the Good Name) worked hard to raise the moral and spiritual level of the Jewish communities over 300 years ago (a nice article about the Baal Shem Tov that I haven't posted before, here). A seemingly small thing, getting everyone to constantly acknowledge G-d in their life, was actually a major step in increasing people's focus on the Ribbono Shel Olam (Master of the Universe).
In orthodox Jewish circles today, it's an extremely common expression to answer a question such as, "How are you today?" with "Baruch Hashem" (equivelent to Thank G-d in hebrew). Of course, Thank G-d in English does just fine.
So the next time someone ask, "How's it going", try "Thank G-d, ok" for an answer.
Tagged Topic(s): baal shem tov, god, lubavitcher rebbe
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא