November 17, 2018

A Moment in Time: Shanah Tova! It Only Takes a Second to be a Mensch

Dear all,

I was at a funeral this week for the mother of a dear friend.  Each sibling spoke of the gentle wisdom their mother implanted in their souls.

One lesson that resonated was,

It only takes a second to be a mensch.”  

Now, mensch is a Yiddish word derived from German meaning “man.” But a mensch is much more than that.  A mensch is a person of character: a thinking, caring, humble, and noble individual.

A mensch holds the door open for someone.
A mensch allows others to sit on a crowded bus.
A mensch is a courteous driver.
A mensch makes decisions with integrity.

The difference between being a mensch and not being a mensch truly happens in second.  And that second is the window into our reputation.

Tonight, with Rosh HaShanah, we enter the Jewish year 5778.  We re-adjust our lives in hopes that we can make a difference in the world.

And so we remember, it often takes even less than a moment in time. The future can unfold with each second in time – because that’s all it takes to be a mensch.

Ron joins me in wishing you a sweet, happy, and healthy New Year!

Shanah Tova,

Rabbi Zach Shapiro

A change in perspective can shift the focus of our day – and even our lives.  We have an opportunity to harness “a moment in time,” allowing our souls to be both grounded and lifted.  This blog shows how the simplest of daily experiences can become the most meaningful of life’s blessings.  All it takes is a moment in time.
Rabbi Zach Shapiro is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Akiba, a Reform Jewish Congregation in Culver City, CA.  He earned his B.A. in Spanish from Colby College in 1992, and his M.A.H.L. from HUC-JIR in 1996.  He was ordained from HUC-JIR – Cincinnati, in 1997.