Review posted on Netgalley
Mensch Marks | Joshua Hammerman
A collection of essays reprinted and updated where needed about Rabbi Hammerman's career and life trying to be a mensch, a good person. These essays are also his attempt to bring mensch into the common vernacular, much like chutzpah and schmuck. These essays cover a range of topics from personal failing and forgiveness to interfaith support to importance of just being human in today's seemingly inhuman world.
I'm buying this book. I'm not Jewish, I don't go to any church, but I am buying this book. It's a great help for anyone who just wants to try to do some good in the world but doesn't know where to begin. This book really helped me out when I was going through a really tough time. I'm buying this book.
It doesn't take much to be a good person and this book takes you through several steps towards becoming a real mensch. Hammerman repeatedly discusses why such things are needed in today's world. Yes, it can be difficult but it can also be very rewarding. Hammerman doesn't just discuss the times he succeeded. He owns up to his failures but, most importantly, he discusses the lessons learned from these failures.
Hammerman also delves into his past throughout the book. The essays don't follow a particular timeline, opting for a thematic organization. We see how Hammerman has dealt with the consequences of being the son of clergy to trying to help his own children keep from living the "life in a fishbowl" he had to. We see his own physical, spiritual and mental struggles from the beginning and middle of his career as a Rabbi. Most importantly, we see how human he is and how being human is important to our everyday lives.
I was very happy to read this book. I look forward to its release when I can purchase it. You don't even have to be spiritual to enjoy this book. Yes, there are a lot of Biblical and Talmudic references, but Hammerman's book is about how you can be both human and a mensch at the same time. I highly recommend this book for those who are tired of all the hate but don't know where to begin on changing that hate. 5 hoots!