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ḤUẒPA:

Aramaic word meaning "impudence," used frequently in the Talmud, in late rabbinical literature, and in common parlance. In Biblical Aramaic only the verb is found: it occurs twice (Dan. ii. 15, iii. 22) in the sense of "to be strict" (R.V. "urgent"). In Talmudic literature from the earliest times both the verb ("ḥaẓaf") and the noun ("ḥuẓpa") are used in many legal maxims and moral sayings in the senses respectively of "to be brazen-faced" and "impudence"; for instance, in the sentence, "No man would be so impudent as to fella tree which is not his or to pick fruit which is not his" (B. B. 33b). If a man signs a document with his father's name only, e.g., "Ben Jacob" instead of "Reuben ben Jacob," the signature is invalid; and the plea that he did so in order to protect his signature against forgery is not accepted, because no one would be so "impudent" as to use his father's name as a ruse (Giṭ. 87b). If a father enters into a marriage contract for his son, the contract is invalid, because a son would not be so "impudent" as to make his father his agent (Ḳid. 45b).

The word "ḥuẓpa" is often used in the Talmud in proverbial sayings also; for example: "In the foot-prints of the Messiah [before the arrival of the Messiah] impudence will increase" (Soṭah 49b); "Impudence succeeds even with God" (Sanh. 105a). Similarly: "The impudent will defeat the wicked, and naturally then the best of the world" (Yer. Ta'an. 65b), the last phrase, according to Levy ("Neuhebr. Wörterb." s.v.), meaning God; "Impudence is a kingdom [i.e., power] without a crown" (Sanh. l.c.); "Impudence is a sign of wickedness" (B.M.83b). In modern literature the word is spelled "chutzpah" and "chuzpe."

Bibliography:
  • Levy, Neuhebr. Wörterb.;
  • Kohut, Aruch Completum;
  • Jastrow, Dict.;
  • Lampronti, Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ.
D.
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