Chutzpa, chutspa, chutzpadik – Pronounced KHOOTS-PAH; rattle that kh around with fervour; rhymes with ‘Foot spa’. Do not pronounce the ch as in ‘choo-choo’ or ‘Chippewa’, but as the German ch in Ach! or the Scottish in ‘loch’. Hebrew: ‘insolence’, ‘audacity’. Gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible ‘guts’; presumption-plus-arrogance such as no other word, and no other language can do justice to.
The Joys of Yiddish By Leo Rosten
On Sunday morning I lead prayers at church. It had been an emotionally charged week in London. I dreaded standing in front of the congregation. Over 70 people had recently died in the Grenfell Tower fire not far from where I live, fires raged in Portugal and the news was still full of recent terror attacks.
I now dread my 7am wake-up with BBC Radio 4.
In May I’d readily volunteered to do prayers, but as my turn drew near, I wondered if I really had it in me. What would I say? How would I create the right balance between silence and words? Continue reading Building Castles in the Sky
“We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!”
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
In summary, Arthur Miller’s play is a classic parable of mass hysteria drawing a frightening parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 and the McCarthyism Cold War fears of 1950s America.
Set in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, the townspeople are stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and hatred, culminating in the wrongful sentencing to death of 20 people for the crime of witchcraft. Continue reading Salem and Boston: American cultural saturation, witches and baseball
S-J: Mommy I don’t want any more.
M: Have three more beans.
S-J: I already had five beans.
M: Just one more then.
(M takes dinner plate away.)
S-J: Mommy, can I have a roll?
M: No, you can’t have a roll. If you’re still hungry you can have some more supper.
S-J: I don’t want supper, I want lunch.
My observations: my family in action.
Yes, they are here – the Zambians have arrived. There is a growing pile of small shoes at the door, a tent in the lounge and Lego EVERYWHERE!
The thing I love about family and especially children are that they keep you on your toes. You can never let down your guard because there are ‘flapping’ BFG-type ears everywhere picking up ‘stompies’ (that’s cigarette butts for non-SA’s). Continue reading Family fun