I recently watched the documentary “Supermensch The Legend of Shep Gordon.” Before watching the film, I had no idea what mensch was or if it was even a flattering term.
Now I know. As Leo Rosten points out, a 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.” Every person should strive to be a mensch. So what makes Shep Gordon a mensch?
Shep Gordon is a talent manager, a Hollywood agent, and a film producer who is best known for representing famous clients including Alice Cooper, Blondie, Teddy Pendergrass, and Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Pink Floyd. What makes him a mensch, however, is not the money he makes, the company he keeps, or the large house he owns in Maui. Rather, it is the kindness he shows to other people (including those who are not all famous and could not provide him anything but friendship in return). It is the fact that he is a man of his word; he is dependable. It is the fact that he is honest; not just with other people’s money and reputation, but also with his feelings and words.
Are you someone of a noble character? Are you a mensch?