Posted by Victoria S Dennis on August 19, 2005
In Reply to: Re: Metzpah posted by Smokey Stover on August 19, 2005
: : What does "metzpah" mean
: I'm just going to guess that you misheard the word, because if you didn't I can't help you at all. According to the OED:
: "Mitzvah. 1. a. A precept, a commandment; a (religious) duty or obligation. Also in pl.: the commandments of the Jewish Law collectively.
: Bar-Mitzvah. A Jewish boy who has reached the age of thirteen, regarded as the age of religious responsibility. b. The 'confirmation' ceremony in a synagogue on this occasion. Also attrib.
: Bat-Mitzvah. a. A Jewish girl who has reached the age of twelve, regarded as the age of religious majority. b. The ceremony held in celebration of this occasion. Cf. BAR-MITZVAH."
I'd just like to add that "mitzvah" can also be used more loosely to mean any meritorious act or good deed, and it's often used in this way in Yiddish: e.g. "that was a real mitzvah you did there". (VSD)