So my mensch idea is catching on with people making mensches in a few cities. Before they arrive.....
As I mentioned the mensch was born as my friend Stephanie and I pondered how to make a Jewish equivalent of Santa and all the magical elves who are so popular these days. While my children were missing out on some of the fun by not celebrating Christmas, we are very fulfilled with our traditions and the beliefs to which we adhere. If I was going to add something else in, I knew it would have to be real and lasting. Anything too magical or that I was going to have to back-track about later was simply out of the question. I want my kids to know that G-d is real and miracles are real--those are the messages of Chanukah.
That is also why we chose to use a mensch as opposed to a gnome or an elf. A mensch is not mythical or made-up. Mensches are simply good people. The "magic" of a mensch is that we all have the inherent capability to do good. Rather than spying on kids to see if they are good just to get presents, our mensch is actually going to be doing mitzvot (good deeds). My kids will find their mensch each day engaged in an activity with a note describing why a mensch would be doing that particular act. For instance, the night that we volunteer to play dreidel at a nursing home, the mensch will be found playing dreidel with barbies and a note that reads, "a mensch visits the elderly."
I hope that anyone playing along at home will also take this opportunity to give your children lessons about being a real mensch rather than making it just a flight of fantasy! An important logistics note: Stephanie and I would ask that you credit us if you use our poetry or post anything on-line about your mensch. You can include this website: http://stayathomeattorney.blogspot.com or better yet, send me your pictures and I will add them into a mensch page
Thanks and Happy Chanukah!
Friday the 7th: Children arrive home from school to find the mantle decorated! poetry about mensch
Saturday the 8th: Mensch in apron gathering latke supplies at stove--accompanied by "A mensch helps mommy""
Sunday the 9th: Snowflake Breakfast (see Dixie Delights)"A mensch sets the table""
Monday the 10th: Mensch sets up blue and white candy buffet "A mensch delights in life's little pleasures""
Tuesday the 11th: Mensch—preparing soup “recipe” for food pantry "A mensch feeds the hungry""
Wednesday the 12thMensch playing driedel with Barbies: (kids leasrn about community service and then do service at retirement home)......"A mensch visits the ederly""
Thurdsday the 13th: Mensch is putting candles in Menorah...."A mensch keeps traditions"
Friday the 14th: Mensch leaves vinyl sign on garage door reminding kids to be a mensch......"A mensch is kind ecah time he leaves home "
Saturday the 15th—Kids find Mensch at Grandma’s house with a note that he will see them next year!