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by: Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  See the rabbi's bio.
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This Month...

Editor's Comment
Michael looks at:
Farewell, Shalom and Adieu

An Open Letter from Abba to His Family

Enough With The Political Finger-Pointing!

Revisiting the Haggadah

Eddy's Recipe List
Victoria Sponge

Book Review
Unstrung Heroes

The Outspeaker
Encouraging violence is never correct

Good times and bad times with Batya

Nathan Weissler
What my friendship with Michael Hanna-Fein meant to me

Marjorie Wolfe
An Interview with Paul Reiser

BC's Backlot
The Last Shalom

This And That
My Treasure Chest

Three Symbols of Passover


Lynn Ruth Miller
How we all became part of a bigger story

Mel Yahre
A few words for my friend

Eddy's Thoughts
Don't let life flutter by

The Bear Facts
How I found Michael



On Friday, May 11, 2007 I was asked the following question:

12 years ago I discovered that I was adopted & that I am a Jew. Finally something fit for me.

My wife is the overachiever. She reads Torah and has created to help others with the Hebrew.

She is forever telling me that I am an intrinsic Jew. I do things that are Jewish without having been taught. That brings me to my question. I have long stated that my goal in life is to be a Mentsh.

Your definition (Mentsh - A special man or person. One who can be respected.) doesn't quite fit my previous understanding. It feels a bit
egotistical to make the claim.

So, if I give you my definition, can you tell me the Yiddish word or words for my goal in life?

My goal is to be an emotional and spiritual buoy for those I meet.

Often I do this simply by encouraging other artists and friends by observing their best traits and telling them about these assets. Other times I share my experiences, especially my errors, with them. This usually helps in ways that vary and surprise me. I am told by family and friends that they appreciate my ability to listen and keep a confidence.

I like what I have become and want to improve on it.

So, what am I?

Thank your for taking the time to read this.

I hope you can help.


This was my response:

Dear Ed,

A mentch (mench, mensch) is what we, in plain English, would call "a real person"; one who is supportive and caring about others, one who fits into most situations and is, almost always liked and admired for his personality.

You, I believe, are seeking to become a tzaddik; a righteous person seeking to keep justice alive in this world.

Kol Hakavod...All strength to you.

Rabbi Dan

If you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail. I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the question is informative to our community.

Thank you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with you,
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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