Oct 26, 2010
Ten-Word Tuesday: Let’s Play Mensch, Not A Mensch
The other day that was actually a week or maybe even months, Bossy’s mom described someone as a mensch. Bossy’s daughter, who has heard this word for all of the fourteen years of her life because she is a nice Jewish girl hold approximately half of the Jewish, responded, “What exactly is a mensch?”
Now understand, Bossy’s mom comes from a long line of excellent definers of words, along the lines of, “You know! Mensch! Like, to be a mensch! Mensch!” But in this case, Bossy’s mom attempted to define the word by providing examples. This was her first:
“Santa is a mensch,” Bossy’s mom began. “He’s warm and generous and kind, with unflagging character.”
Next to appear on Bossy’s mom’s mensch list was him:
He’s Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof, but you would know him better as Mensch. And next Bossy’s mom referenced Marv.
And then Bossy’s mom explained to Bossy’s daughter that character and generosity and kindness alone don’t make a mensch. As an example, Bossy’s mom suggested that although Bossy’s brother is all of these things and more, he wouldn’t universally be described as mensch material.
In this case of Bossy’s brother, Bossy’s mom wondered aloud if girth, and maybe even a beard, were mandatory in order to be a mensch.
So then Bossy’s mom considered whether being Jewish was a critical component to being a mensch.
Bossy can sum up her understanding of the word mensch in this way: Can’t define it, can spot one from afar. Hi Dad!
Which is what today’s Ten-Word Challenge is all about. In exactly ten words, can you provide Bossy with examples of who qualifies as a mensch, or what the word means to you?
And tomorrow Bossy will post all of those suggestions here and we can all play Mensch/Not A Mensch!
Who has more fun than Bossy’s esteemed council?