Published May-11-07
Ask Rabbi Dan
by Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  Issue: 8.04
e-mail me

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.


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

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