The Chutzpah Imperative: Empowering Today's Jews for a Life That Matters


by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

The Chutzpah Imperative: Empowering Today's Jews for a Life That Matters
Publication date: 2014-06-15
Number of pages: 150
ISBN: 9781580237925
Creates a new view of chutzpah as Jewish self-empowerment to be God's partner and repair the world--and reveals Judaism's ancient message, its deepest purpose and most precious treasures.

Judaism assigns a uniquely important role to the human being, the role of partner with God in creating a world of oneness. This theme, the singular message of Judaism, runs throughout the Jewish tradition, but it has been largely lost to our modern day's leaning toward Jewish ethnic identity and culture.

In this clarion call for a new way to do Judaism, award-winning spiritual leader Rabbi Edward Feinstein urges us to recover this message of Jewish self-empowerment--or chutzpah--to reshape the world. Feinstein begins with the early chapters of Genesis. He then describes how the idea was encoded into the Jewish national narrative through biblical law, and how the Rabbis of the Talmud embraced that conviction as the center of Judaism, demonstrating the Rabbis' sense of their own self-empowerment to reshape their religious tradition in response to the destruction of the Temple. Turning to the mystics of medieval Spain and the European Hasidic tradition, Feinstein shows how chutzpah found its expression in the tradition of Kabbalah. Finally, he explores the theme of empowerment in modernity, as the centerpiece of Zionism and post-Holocaust thought.
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