I was sent this video months ago and was moved beyond words. I saved it for Yom Kippur for reasons that will become clear. Watch it before Yom Kippur starts and keep it in mind as the shofar is blown to end Yom Kippur.

I wish all of you who read my blog an easy but meaningful fast, filled with much reflection and perhaps a map for the new year with all that it does and will hold, as we continue in the time of Covid. Good health, nachas from the kids and peace for Israel and all the world.

https://youtu.be/bIfLbkx4ZIM


Seniors, Here Is How Not To Fear Change or Death

My High Holy Day Sermon

It was 38 Rosh Hashanahs ago that I first stood on this Bima. The Bima looks remarkably different and so does the congregation. I was 33 years old with little kids looking out on a massive sea of senior faces with just a smattering of young faces and even less children.

I had been a Rabbi for 7 years and wanted to talk about how to grow a life that involved more Judaism. I wanted to talk about how important it was to raise the…


What Is The Purpose Of The Jewish Religion?

When I was on Safari in Africa I observed numerous copulations of Lions and leopards. There were a few minutes of courtship, a kind of ritualized dance if you will, followed by each party assuming the position and then after 30 seconds or so of activity there was a grunt and a mutual separation.

I don’t know what surprised me the most. The short duration of the act from such a powerful symbol of masculine power, or the fact that the act took place in full public, observed by many tourists in their jeeps just yards away?

Yes, I know…


Tikkun Olam Alone, Is Not Judaism

I have noticed in the last few years that the most repeated Jewish phrase that I hear is tikkun olam. I hear it from Jewish celebrities who say their attachment to Judaism is through their acts of social justice which they then call tikkun olam, and that satisfies their attachment to Judaism.

I hear it from people who have converted to Judaism who say what attracted them to Judaism is tikkun olam. …


Why I need to be in a synagogue and not on line for the High Holy Days.

Before the pandemic I was going to movie theatres, but truth be told not nearly as much as in previous years. I now had many alternatives to going to the movies. Why pay $20 to $30 dollars a couple for a mediocre movie? I had HBO and Netflix for that. But when a really good movie came out, or an action-packed major Hollywood blockbuster debuted, I want to see it the way movies were designed to be experienced. …


I feel like I should have gained 10 pounds in the last 2 weeks just from hearing the words “Ben and Jerry’s. Ben and Jerry’s announced that they are going to stop selling their ice cream in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory”. Apparently since it is capitalized it is a recognized country and not just a descriptive term for land that is disputed.

I am not sure when this area became a country and what its borders are, but I imagine Ben and Jerry’s does. …


Have you discovered your mortality?

During Covid we all went through stages of risk management. In the early days with great fear and uncertainty we had our food delivered. Later we arranged for pick up, and finally gingerly but heavily masked and gloved we entered the store ourselves.

Those of us able to take advantage of the early senior hours reduced our risk even further by shopping at a restricted time with less people. Of course, every item that entered the house was wiped down with disinfectant wipes including containers and all packaging.

It was during the senior hours shopping that I would go out…


Lost Indigenous Children

Is Canada an Apartheid Genocidal Colonial Country?

In the almost two months that I have been in Canada the country has been rocked by the discovery of the unmarked graves of hundreds of mostly indigenous children at residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Clearly for readers in the US that statement needs a little unpacking.

On June 7 the New York Times reported, “ The remains of 751 people, mainly Indigenous children, were discovered at the site of a former school in the province of Saskatchewan, a Canadian Indigenous group said on Thursday, shaking a nation grappling with generations…


Even good people need to hear history and context

Hamas fires rockets at Jerusalem

Defending Israel in Whistler BC Canada

My second home is in the Mountains at North America’s number one rated ski resort, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. I am not here anymore for the skiing, that train has left the station, but for sheer natural beauty and for 50 degree humid less nights away from the liquid hot air of the South Florida summer, this is a mechaya. The town has about 11,854 permanent residents and about 3 million visitors a year. The resident Jewish population may be less than 100 people and…


History does matter

A Tale Of Two Comedians.

There are two comedians on HBO who do a “serious” show about current events and especially politics. I watch and enjoy them both. One is John Oliver, the other Bill Maher. John Oliver’s last show infuriated me and Bill Mahr’s made me stand up and cheer. Both had a segment on Israel and the recent war with Gaza. Comedians and pundits for that matter, do not have to always agree with me, heck my wife doesn’t most of the time, but they do have to respect context and history.

The tell for where John Oliver…

Rabbi Paul Plotkin

I am a retired Conservative Rabbi. I was a pulpit Rabbi for 40 years. I supervise a chain of kosher Delis called Ben's .

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store