The CHUTZPAH IMPERATIVE: a Book Review

November 14, 2014

Joel Grishaver

Joel Lurie GrishaverPart One

Jon Landau, famously wrote, “I saw rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen.” I would like to say, “I have read the future of Jewish Thought and his name is Rabbi Edward Feinstein.”

Feinstein, Rabbi Edward. The Chutzpah Imperative, Empowering Today’s Jews for a Life that Matters. Woodstock, Vermont. Jewish Lights. 2014.

The book begins, “We don’t ask enough of our Judaism…This is a Judaism of warm, ethnic sentimentality that demands very little of us and in returns offers little spiritual wisdom.” It ends, “If a new generation is to join this ancient tradition, they will join only for a message that is vital, significant, and timely. Chutzpah is that message. As the Talmud teaches, the task is great, the stakes are exceedingly high—not only the future of the Jewish people, but also the survival of humanity…But at this moment, our Judaism asks a great deal of us.”

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