Rabbi Samuel Chiel Kallah
The Genius of Chutzpah
March 19, 2016
The Roots of our Resilience
"Chutzpah," in Yiddish, is insolence, audacity, or nerve. But "chutzpah" is older than Yiddish. The Talmud offers another definition - "Chutzpah" is irrepressible boldness and strength. Chutzpah describes a rare quality of moral courage at the heart of Judaism -- a revolutionary idea of the human condition and our relationship to God, the significance of human life, and the depth of human responsibility. As a global culture facing global crises, Chutzpah is a gift we Jews need to bring to the world. Chutzpah is a message the world is desperate to hear. .
Rabbi Ed Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, an instructor at the Ziegler Rabbinical School of the American Jewish University, the Wexner Heritage Program, and the Shalom Hartman Institute.
The annual Rabbi Samuel Chiel Kallah is a stimulating weekend of prayer, study, and good fellowship that finds its roots in the Talmudic period, when thousands of Jews flocked to the great academies of Babylonia to hear lectures by the scholar Rav.
Our Kallah, named in 1978 as a tribute to the values taught by our Rav, Rabbi Samuel Chiel z''l, offers each of us the modern equivalent of this Talmudic institution.