Chutzpah

A little Jewish grandmother gets on the crowded bus and discovers that she doesn’t have correct change for the fare. The driver tries to be firm with her, but she places her hand delicately over her chest and murmurs, “If you knew what I had, you’d be nicer to me. He caves in and lets her ride for free.She tries to push her way down the crowded aisle, but people won’t move over for her. She finally places her hand delicately over her chest and murmurs, “If you knew what I had, you’d be nicer to me.” The crowd parts like the Red Sea and lets her down the aisle.

She gets to the back of the bus where there are no seats and looks significantly at several people, none of whom take the hint and get up to offer her their seat. Once again she places her hand delicately over her chest and murmurs, “If you knew what I had, you’d be nicer to me.” Several people jump up and insist that she sit down and ride in comfort.

A woman who had been watching all this leaned over and said to her, “I know this is none of my business, but what is it that you’ve got, anyway?

The little Jewish grandmother smiled and said, “Chutzpah.”

What? You do not know what is meant by chutzpah? Well, then, let me see if I can help you to understand.

According to Wiktionary, chutzpah is a slang noun that may be defined as “Nearly arrogant courage; utter audacity, effrontery or impudence; supreme self-confidence; exaggerated self-opinion;” the origination of which may be traced to “1890–95 from Yiddish חוצפּה (khutspe), from Mishnaic Hebrew חֻצְפָּה (ḥuṣpâ), from חֲצַף (ḥāṣap, “to be insolent”).” Click on over to check out the entire Wictionary chutzpah entry.

Wait, there is more about chutzpah over at Wikipedia, in which part of that article states: “In Hebrew, chutzpah is used indignantly, to describe someone who has overstepped the boundaries of accepted behavior with no shame. But in Yiddish, chutzpah has developed ambivalent and even positive connotations. Chutzpah can be used to express admiration for nonconformist but gutsy audacity.” Read the whole thing; just head on over and click that computer mouse of yours to read the Wikipedia Chutzpah article.

On another note, for some truly enjoyable entertainment, I suggest you visit the website of ChutzpahTheGroup.com, the description of which is summarized on the Google search engine as “Chutzpah, The World’s First Ever Jewish Hip Hop Supergroup! The Official website of Jewish Hip Hop Supergroup, Chutzpah!”

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About Roland Louis Hansen

I have been: an organization development consultant; a college-level instructor of political science, psychology, and sociology; a public administrator; a social worker; an elected official; a political operative; a community activist; a union official; a shoe salesman and manager, a factory worker; a fast food restaurant employee; and, a custodian.
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