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 www.kakatuv.com
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.
was my response:
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.
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.
you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with you,
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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