The Touchstones theme for May is Courage. We are joyfully welcome Rabbi Moshe Heyn to the UUCC pulpit on May 1st, with a sermon entitled “Holy Chutzpah.”
The Joys of Yiddish defines chutzpah as “gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible ‘guts.’” The word can be used negatively to describe the arrogance of overstepping an appropriate boundary, or it can be used positively to express admiration for someone’s courage.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, a charismatic religious leader of the 20th century, coined the term “holy chutzpah” to describe the gutsiness it often takes to pursue the path of holiness, righteousness or love. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a courageous civil rights leader of the 20th century, called it “spiritual audacity.”
In the midst of the many crises our world is facing now, one could rightfully ask: has religion been a positive or negative influence? Has it helped us to become kinder and more compassionate people? Has it inspired us to be more courageous in advocating for justice, equality and inclusion? It is up to us to answer those questions, not by our words but by our actions. It’s time for some holy chutzpah.
Moshe Tom Heyn is a rabbi, musician, chaplain, spiritual activist, and surfer who practices and teaches a synthesis of humanism and mysticism. In addition to his work as a Hospice Chaplain for VITAS Healthcare, he proudly serves as the Spiritual Leader of Coastside Jewish Community.
For the Order of Service, click here
The YouTube stream for this service is now concluded. The YouTube video of the service will be uploaded shortly.