BHT Added for Freshness

A clear definition of Chutzpa

Rabbi Shlomo Cohen
November 1992

When told they have been Chutzpadik most children will look at you as if you don’t know what you’re talking about. They certainly don’t. The following was developed and given to an 8 th grade class to define what I meant by Chutzpa. After they saw this, I told them,” Now you can’t say you don’t know what I mean.”

Chutzpa shall be defined as:
A) Any lack of Kovod (respect) for parents
B) Any lack of Kovod for your Rebbe or Morah.
C) Lack of Derech Eretz (proper behavior) for any adult. (This includes English teachers and subs).
D) Lack of Kavod HaBrios for any person. (The custodian and bus driver included).
In theory these are all different levels of respect. In practice the same types of behavior are necessary.

Lack of respect is characterized in the following manners:
`1)-Contradicting an adult.
2)-Being argumentative.
3)- Answering back, getting in the last word.
4) -Refusing to do what you’re told (active).
5)- Not doing what you’re told, when you’re told (passive).
6)- Continuing an argument, discussion, or action after being told to stop.
7)- Telling or demanding, rather than asking, what you will or won’t do.
8) – Slamming a door, throwing a object, stamping your feet etc.
9) laughing at an adult, inappropriate facial expressions (e.g., rolling eyes, smirking.
10)– Calling an adult a name (e.g. stupid, jerk) or using a disparaging nickname.
11)– Getting physical (pushing or hitting).
12)- Any physical resistance.
13)– Spiteful non-cooperation (e.g., when told to move the child purposefully dawdles).

All of the above apply even when:
A) You think it’s not fair.
B) you’re very angry
C) you are in a bad mood or are having a rough day.

Use ‘please’, ‘thank you,’ ‘you’re welcome, ‘excuse me’ when talking with an adult.
Don’t walk or run between 2 adults who are talking.
Never interrupt 2 adults talking, except in an emergency
Allow an adult to go through a doorway first, don’t push past, hold the door.

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