Chutzpah is a Yiddish term meaning, “gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, sheer guts plus arrogance. English words cannot do real justice to this word. Instead, here’s a story that allows us to understand this word to use its message in our giving.


A little old lady sold pretzels on a street corner for 25 cents each. Every day a young man would leave his office building at lunch time and as he passed the pretzel stand, he would leave her a quarter, but never take a pretzel.


This went on for more than three years. The two of them never spoke. One day as the young man passed the old lady’s stand and left his quarter as usual, the pretzel lady spoke to him. Without blinking an eye, she said: “They’re 35 cents now.”


This story captures one definition of chutzpah, but it also shows how generosity and duty are so intertwined with each other and deeply ingrained in the Jewish culture. With present-day Christians who are supposed to have an encounter with Jesus Christ, generosity is such a struggle.



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How does generosity and duty intertwine for you?