To steal Winston Churchill’s 1939 description of Russia, ugotchutzpah is sort of but not exactly “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Mebbe the website is closer to how Sholem Aleichem describes tsuris (problems, hardships): “life is a blister on top of a tumor, and a boil on top of that.”
What we’re trying to say by pointing to Churchill’s and Aleichem’s unusual phrases is ugotchutzpah comes to you in layers (strata). If you think in terms of a journey, then ugotchutzpah is a landscape with divergent paths and labyrinths worth exploring.
Let’s start with stories. A chutzpahboychik and a chutzpahgoilchik have a tale to tell, throughout which footnotes cluster or footpaths weave. Additional information appears in easy-to-read windows. This feature allows you to wander without falling off the edge of the storyline. Here the objective is to put the two personal narratives into a larger framework, and provide a cultural and historical context.
You could also say we like to shmooz about a variety of ideas. We love humor, puns, words, lively discussion, pithy expressions, and proverbs.
Then there’s poetry. (Whaddya know? We’re already off the beaten track!) Click on poetry for a larger discussion of one of the world’s oldest art forms. Ugotchutzpah has poetry afoot. In our Footnotes poetry manuscript, individual poems are available in PDF.
Then there’s our “hot bites” in keeping with our chili pepper motif. One way of looking at Chutzpah is it’s the necessary tangy condiment. Mebbe Jewish salsa or Tabasco sauce? This is how we put a bite into food thought. Our hot bites touch on a variety of topics, ranging from apples, coffee, Brooklyn, retirement, bagels, and strawberries, to blues, jazz, motorcycles, “Moshiach,” and hot dogs.
Ugotchutzpah is a website that brings you a shtikl (a little piece [of something]) to think about. Small pieces to chomp on. Before you say, “I could get more nourishment biting my lip,” “Yeah, right, I need a loch in kop! (a hole in the head), “This is meshugass (craziness),” or “When I want free advice, I’ll go pay for it,” just sample. Other than our hot bites giving you heartburn, it can’t hurt.
And then there’s the deal.