What is the “consumate human being?”
A Mensch!

I invite you to go on the journey of “menschood” in this poem I wrote several years ago. In case you’re not familiar with Yiddish or Hebrew, let me know and I’ll translate, but I think you’ll get the meaning…


By Errol Strider

Stand up full strength, stride inside yourself,

rimming over,

fully caffeinated male…

Fill the frame… with all your humanity,

no more holding back

no more crouching down

Come forth male God incarnate

light the way…generous spirit

pregnant man with Mensch inside you…

Mazeltov! It’s a 144 pound mensch.

We’ve waited for years,

inside the sack of pain or shame,

the womb of struggle and faith,

the vagina of “It’s about time”

You surround each moment with a giant L’chiam

and echoes of “To Life!”

reverberate into every resonant heart

Yea! Mr. Mensch

as you breath vitality into families, relationships,

communities and friends

you are such good company


slide over and ooze into me,

walk with me talk to me of heaven,

speak to me of joy

Show up manly soul


raise your self to the full height

of grandeur man

You have arrived, undiminished,

arms open,

exuding splendor, majesty

and the humility to see it

in all who cross your vision.

You radiate wealth, gusto, effervescence

full pockets bursting with goodies

you enter our space and throw a mitzvah

make it a party

You reek love, you sly Mensch

you drip hope

you dish out possibility, free of charge

You flavor our yearning with the warm spice

of your exuberant presence

you nourish our minds with a buoyant knowing

a knowing that reaches into the First Source and Mensch

who has charged you to deliver his ubiquitous menschness

into every corner of time,

to impassionate every truth-filled desire.

to open up Mensch stands all across the world,

advertising the Menschood

giving out your Mensch brochures—

each warm, intoxicating smile that surges through your love

You are a mirror

for my latent, true, rich, abundant maleness

how gracious you are…

you make room inside you for my woman

you model exquisite intimacy,

the male and female at home in us

two hands clasped in gratitude

2 palms facing the world

ready to receive,

eager to give

What a present you are, you Menschness

friend to the earth,

compadre to the little, the bereft…

those who long for their Menschness,

though they know not what it means

or how to sound it in their person

A long standing grace has made it possible for you to appear now,

to take stage on planet earth

as you walk across the sand, the dirt, the highway,

songs spring from your footsteps

songs of Elohim and Adonai of Allah and Krishna,

of Buddha, Christ, and Mother-Son

As you step fully into this space,

we greet you with a bountiful “Good Yontif!”

Good Shabas!

…each moment suffused with Shabat,

the time to rest in God,

in the revelation of how Menschy we all can be…

when we discard doubt,

and step naked as a budding shoot from the showers of purification

into the full open embrace of renewed innocence

There you are, you hunk of Mensch,

luxuriating in self delight

forgiving the past,

trusting the future

bonded to this sacred instant

where your face beams assurance

to our waiting, eager, hungry pubescent souls

Shine forth, Sir Mensch,

Be Knighted in a diamond studded shout, of


You bring life to the words,

“Bawruch ataw adonoi elohaynu melech hawolawm…

“Blessed art thou, Oh Eternal, Our God, King of the Universe…”

Father of all Mensches.

for all are full bodied total beings in your sight;

that’s what makes you our Daddy Mensch

So, what is a Mensch?

A man or woman who walks securely in every living moment,

with full confidence

that every beat of his heart

and each breath of her soul

is a gift to life

and everyone he touches is a gift to himself.




(PS…If you’d like to hear this read with beautiful music played by Itzhak Perlman, let me know and I’ll send you the the mp3 file.)

© 2003 Errol Strider