Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Word for the Day - CHUTZPAH!

If you're living in Israel or even if not - if you're Jewish (and even if not!) there's one word you really do need to know. It's CHUTZPAH! In Hebrew it's written "חוצפה" but you can write it just as well in English because everyone really does know it already! It seems to have just the right sound to it and if you say it with enough energy and enthusiasm, you're sure to know what it means. You might find the purists who will translate the word as "impudence" or "insolence" - but don't let any of those words fool you. Chutzpah is so much more! It seems to have its own meaning whenever it's said. Is it really worthwhile to look for a translation for this extremely expressive almost onomatopoeic word?!

We'll let you think about it on your own. But meanwhile, we found just the right picture that exemplifies this most unique word. Hopefully it's not your pram. Hopefully they're not your bicycles. They can't be! You're too good to ever let anyone call you "Chutzpadic!" You're too caring to realise the dangers of others navigating through large items to get to their destination safely without tripping over your property! 

For those not yet familiar with the variety of taxes in Israel, you'll come across one called "Vaad Bayit" - "ועד בית". It's not really a tax as such though you'll have to pay it whether you like it or not. In fact whatever it costs - whether 50 Shekel a month or 250 Shekel a month or even more - whatever the administrator of the fund demands is a new liability for you each month! It's true, someone must take care of the building expenses, but what about when you're always doing your best to keep things clean. In that case, you'll find yourself constantly bombarded with bills of others to pay (with those in the wrong constantly let off the hook!) - those who prefer to hire real help to keep things clean, rather than do it themselves. It's the Vaad Bayit who puts up the signs you'll see plastered all over your building - notably like the one in the picture below (click image for full size) which clearly indicates, "Dear Neighbours: Please do not leave prams in the passage-way". Of course, if you do know about Chutzpah - you may want to use it - and be Davka -דוקא - another word that's just so hard to translate. It means something similar to - "just because you said no... I'm all for it!" though literally it means "exactly!"

So here it is. If you were to look up the word Chutzpah in a dictionary, you'd be sure to see this image and maybe even the one below it. For those striving to make their apartment building clean and tidy - don't be surprised when you're hit with large Vaad Bayit bills. They are really there - especially for you - so that you can pay the bills for the Davka type of neighbour who knows not much more than what real Chutzpah really means!

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