Monday, November 25, 2013

What Would the World be Like with More “Menches”?

The recent 75th anniversary of the “Night of Broken Glass,” which took place on November 9-10, 1938
Frank Storch
inspired one Jewish commentator to wonder, “What would the world be like if people of faith raised ‘menches’? Rabbi Elan Adler was talking about “Kristallnacht,” the fateful night when German gangs of Hitler Youth, and others, joined together to break the glass windows of Jewish shops, in addition to setting fire to them and to synagogues, homes, and murdering 91 people.

Rabbi Adler is the host of “The Derech Eretz” radio talk show. His guests were Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf and Frank Storch, both of Baltimore, and both men the Rabbi Adler includes in the term “mench” which means to be an upright person with integrity and sympathy. As an example of how Frank Storch and Rabbi Apisdorf manifest these qualities, Rabbi Adler referred to the work they both do on behalf of the homeless and the technological aid they brought to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York.

Rabbi Adler thought perhaps in a world where children are raised to have “derech eretz” and a conscience, events like Kristallnacht would not happen.