Yiddish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found the Wikipedia definition which I’ve posted as follows; and will work with that.

Mensch (Yiddish: מענטש mentsh, cognate with German: Mensch “human being“) means “a person of integrity and honor.”[1] The opposite of a “mensch” is an “unmensch” (meaning: an utterly unlikeable or unfriendly person). According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, “mensch” is “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.”[2] The term is used as a high compliment, expressing the rarity and value of that individual’s qualities.

My definitions are from Google Definitions.


Morally correct behavior or thinking; righteousness.
honesty – integrity – probity – straightforwardness

Rectitude works.




  1. The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.
  2. A composed or serious manner or style.


Meet the first, but I might be too comical for the second.  Some would miss my silliness I guess.

I will let people judge where I stand in this.  I can be funny, let loose with the occasional risque joke (I have my Naughty Philosopher posts).

The trick in being a Mensch is to do the right thing, without being bidden to do so and without expecting accolades.

I have an example from today.  On the bus coming home, the driver had to set the front stairs up as a mini elevator for someone with a walker to get off.  The driver couldn’t get the system to go back to being stairs again.  I got out the back door and pushed the front stairs back in place.

Yes, you could say I did it so the bus could get going and I could get home.  I was thanked for doing it, but that is not the point.  The point was to do the deed for doing the right thing, not accolades.

I may post more on being a mensch.


About tucsonmike

I am originally from Brooklyn, New York and now live in Tucson, Arizona. I have discovered a passion for writing. I have five books out now, with a sixth on the way. Take a look @ my book list: The Search for Livingstone An Affair of the Heart The Search for Otzi Griffith Justice in Space. Moriarty The Life and Times of a Criminal Genius Available now on Smashwords - Amazon and Barnes and Noble As to not bore my public with just "Buy my book," I am also interested in baseball, the outdoors, art, architecture, technology, the human mind and DNA. I learned Ashkenazi Jews, of which I am one, have to lowest rate of Alzheimer's in the world. Therefore, I treat my brain as a muscle needing a workout. I enjoy good food, flirtation, beautiful women (I am happily married for thirty years), so just flirting ;) I was considered autistic when I was young, trying to figure out if I have a mild form of Aspergers and learning from that. That is for future posts. You can also see I love history. Enjoy my sarcastic silly look at the world, and making History more interesting than a textbook.
This entry was posted in Culture, Definitions, Jews, Judaism, Mensch, Philosophy, Tereza Eliasz-Solomon and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mensch

  1. Pingback: Benjamin Franklin, Mensch? | I am an Author, I Must Auth

  2. Pingback: Is George Zimmerman a Mensch? | I am an Author, I Must Auth

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