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Posted by Brian from Shawnee on August 19, 2005

In Reply to: Metzpah posted by Victoria S Dennis 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."
: : SS

: 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)

Only 3 Google hits on "metzpah", but one carries an explanation. From the Manila Times Internet Edition of September 23, 2003:

"In a movie I can't remember right now, it was called metzpah, or "the space between a handshake". It's that willingness to do those little unspoken things in a deal. It's doing the dirty work that's implied because of your agreement, your friendship. "

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