The Guy I Met on the Plane

Three actions every Jew should do to make the home Jewish.

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Comments (44)

(44) chava, February 14, 2012 9:01 PM


Add a #4 --- Make kiddush on Friday night. (Even a single mom can do it.) My father didn't make kiddush, but one time I ate at a girlfriend's house, & her father did. (They were reform, but nevertheless....) It made a tremendous impression on me.

(43) Lara, January 25, 2011 4:09 AM

Because of you

Dear Lori, Because of you, our 19th month old know the following things: each Friday night she says, "Amen" after the candles are lit. She asks as we rock in the rocking chair each night "shema" and puts her tiny little hand over her eyes. And when I ask her, "who loves you?" at the end of a long list of people who love her she offers is a sweet voice, "Hasem!" (she doesn't make the /sh/ sound yet) She does these things (and so many more) because of you. You taught me and now I am teaching her. Thank you!

(42) , January 21, 2011 12:59 PM

My grandma (father side), who is not jewish once walked in on me lighting the shabbos candles and started to cry. I asked her what's wrong and she said that her grandma from her father's side used to do the same thing just as i did. I always thought that it was in my grandparent's from mother's side that i became a Baalat Tshuva. Who knows maybe it's because of those shabbos candles that my grandma from my goishe side of the family that i and my family are frum today

(41) Anonymous, January 21, 2011 12:42 AM

You are speaking in Cleveland tonight and I was so eager to hear you. The weather, although beautiful, is not conducive to the drive. I'm settling for watching video clips and thankful for them. Please come back soon.

(40) Anonymous, January 19, 2011 7:43 PM

You made me cry!

Such moving words. My great grandfather was a Jew, and moved to the Americas when things got nasty right before WWII. He raised his children as Catholics and the Jewishness dissappeared with them. My grandmother was a Catholic, so was my mom, and I was baptized as one. But ever since I was a child I wanted from the bottom of my heart to be Jewish, just because. My mother and grandmother also had a thing for Judaism but never did anything about it. Now I'm 25 years old and I started my conversion journey to go back to my faith, and everything you described just touched the deepest feelings I have towards Judaism, those that were there since my childhood. This is the kind of life I want for me and my family and children to come. Thank you for putting it into words so beautifuly. Blessings.

(39) Daughter of a single mom, January 19, 2011 7:06 PM

To the woman in #32

I grew up in a tradition but not Orthodox home and both my sister and I married Jews and are more observant than our mother. Here are some "substitutes" for wearing tefillin in your household: a) Learn a little Torah (five minutes even) daily or say one chapter of Psalms every day at the same time while your kids are home and know you are doing it. b) Pick one mitzvah that is just because you love Hashem and do it regularly. Examples: Keep kosher, even if it's only partly (like no non-kosher meat). Bake challah in your home on Friday morning or after dark on Thursday. Don't wear a garment of linen and wool combined. Find out the reason that you do this mitzvah so you can explain it thoroughly to your kids. And, even though it can be challenging, don't give up on finding a new husband...and insist he be Jewish! You'll be a good role model to them.

(38) Sharon, January 19, 2011 4:03 PM

don't forget the joy

The most key ingredient is showing joy to our children in our performing these mitzvot. My husband and I have always adhered to a strict Orthodox way of life, but living in Israel, I fear that the stress of everyday living have affected the way our kids view us. We are both 100 per cent committed. My husband is also a respected Jewish educator. And yet, when my oldest son finished Yeshiva high school, he passed up on the chance to continue his learning and eventually spent three years in the IDF. We supported this move, but in that course he has removed his kippa, and apparently has no religious inclinations. We are broken hearted. I know my job is to love him, but I am constantly thinking how I can inspire him to return. He does not appreciate that, so I have to tone it down, but then I wonder whether I am missing a chance to help him. Lori, if you have any advice for me, I'd greatly appreciate it.

(37) anne lillelund, January 19, 2011 12:12 PM


dear lori, one of the most fasinating women with a "story" to tell. i loved every moment of it, and will for sure be looking your book up wheneven i get out of bangladesh where i live now. thanks for your inspration. thanks.... anne (a "girl" in love with a Jew)

(36) Sandy, January 19, 2011 7:39 AM

Why this touched me so deeply

Lori, My husband and I live an orthodox lifestyle, and as a family, we do all the things you mention in this video. So why did I find tears running down my cheeks as I watched? I think I have an answer. The connection to parents in the home is at the very root of our ability to trust, to believe that a "higher power" will take care of us, and ultimately, to reach out and feel the presence of Gd. By publicly sharing faith with our children, we are not only demonstrating cultural or religious "priorities" -- we're actually setting out the first rungs of a ladder that, if all goes well, our children will go on to climb themselves. You've touched something very basic in this video, in a manner that is respectful of all Jews, no matter what they practice. Kol hakavod, and thank you for putting me in touch with the emotional basis of the committed Jewish life I try to lead.

(35) Anonymous, January 19, 2011 6:33 AM

I remember

You took me back over 50 years ago. Our neighbors in suburban Philly were Reform Jews. They had 3 kids. Every Friday night their parents would light Shabbos candles, sing "Shalom Aleichem" and have a family meal together. As far as I know, that was their whole Shabbos. And their children all married Jews. I always wondered about this. Now I have a deeper understanding why.

(34) Anonymous, January 18, 2011 8:55 PM

Thank you Lori

As an Israeli who moved to the States six years ago and live in a place with no jewish community, this video gave me goose bumps and tears in my eyes. New york city, here I come!

(33) Suzanne, January 18, 2011 8:33 PM

Very perceptive

Lori, you most certainly did hit the nail on the head. For many years I belonged to a certain synagogue and I saw first hand that synagogue attendance/involvement does not necessarily translate into Jewishly commited children. As a matter of fact, alot of the parents/ grandparents who were so commited (to the shul) were treating their Judaism like a business - pure devotion into actually keeping the shul afloat but really lousy at actually obeying Jewish law i.e., keeping kosher, observing shabbat, davining, sending their kids to Jewish day school etc. Frequently after working so hard for the shul, they'd all actually go out and eat at a non-kosher restaurant! Really, synagogues are very important but being Jewish is following the ancient laws. Perhaps people should review the book "To Be A Jew" by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin. It's a classic, still widely available and, yes, Lori, alot of the mitvot are done at home!

(32) Ellen, January 18, 2011 8:24 PM

#3 is not for me?

Is #3 for men only? I am a single mother. What can I do instead?

(31) ruth housman, January 18, 2011 3:16 PM

it's a reach

Yesterday, for the first time, I used a tea kettle that is shaped like a giraffe, with a long neck. It's very sweet, as is the other kettle, which is shaped like a lady bug. For the lady bug I thought: life is about connecting the dots. And for the giraffe: it was a reminder, life's a reach. Our reach should exceed our grasp, our what's a heaven for. You do glow, Lori. I feel the depths of your love of Judaism and the desire to communicate this to others, in simple ways, that anyone can surely follow. For me, it also follows, that there is a candle within, the "i". Call this the eternal flame or Shabbos candle. I believe that keeping this candle lit involves how we are, with each other, with words, with sharing, with deeds, and that this is the candle that burns for those of us who do deeply believe in the Shema, and that is, a kind of sharing of the road, as in the signposts along that road we all travel, that is love. How we actuate this is individual. I would say, it's possible these people were deeply sharing that road, despite not burning the candles, or saying the Shema, or wearing tefillin. But it's a differing and same perception I hold, of Divine truth, of LOVE itself.

(30) Deena, January 18, 2011 2:55 PM

Living proof of the list of 3, PLUS one more.

Here is some real world proof of the power of your Judaism in the home theory....we have 4 children. All 4 had the same Jewish education, went to the same shul on Shabbat, went to Jewish camps...etc. It was not until the 2 eldest left home for college that we began to do #1 and #2 on your list, #3 came a little later when I became a Rabbi myself. The bottom line is, the 2 youngest, who were exposed to all of the 3 items on your list, married Jews and could not see themselves doing otherwise. The 2 eldest married non-Jews and do not practice in the home. When we asked the 2 youngest what the biggest influence was, it was definitely #1, light the shabbos candles....but it was more than was the family discussion and an opportunity to ask the kids questions and get them starting to think about themselves and what they do or do not do :jewishly". They said those discussions really changed the way they lived their lives. Thanks again.

(29) Anonymous, January 18, 2011 1:48 PM

Absolutely brilliant. I am going to forward this to many people. Thank you so much!

Absolutely brilliant. I am going to forward this to many people. Thank you so much!!

(28) Susan, January 18, 2011 12:40 PM

Thank you

This is inspiring and beautiful.

(27) Anonymous, March 2, 2009 8:49 AM

This observant Jew is VERY inspired by EACH of your clips

Mrs. Palatnik, I''m overwhelmed by your ability to convey basic ideas in such concise, enjoyable, heartfelt, accurate, legitimate, genuine ways --- ideas which our Torah giants sometimes take chapters *or* books to convey. May Hashem keep you well and able for many years to come.

(26) Anonymous, January 22, 2009 5:25 AM

to anonymous #24

Keep making a beautiful Jewish home. Say Shema with your kids at night. And keep inviting your husband to the Shabbos table. My husband was drumming and chanting, meditating and searching for his spiritual path while the kids and I did more and more Jewishly. Then, when we moved into a religious neighborhood, the other Jewish men really took him under wing. Today his peyos are below his shoulders and we live in Israel (his idea!). Invite your husband with peace, and trust that Hashem wakes each person up in His own time. ((hugs))

(25) sam mizrahi, January 15, 2008 9:06 AM



(24) Anonymous, January 12, 2008 6:58 PM

"Single" Jewish women can still daaven

I loved this piece, but (like some other viewers) was troubled by number 3. (Okay, I nearly cried when I heard it.) My husband goes along with our frum lifestyle: kashrut and shabbat observance, saying the Shema and educating the children Jewishly. But he would never put on tefillin himself. I don't want my children to think that daavening to Hashem is "optional", and I mourn that they barely even know what tefillin are. I make an effort for them to see me daavening at home, and I hope this is enough. Does anyone else have any thoughts about being the sole religious influence on one's children?

(23) s, January 10, 2008 11:45 PM


Very true, the learning and love and practice starts at home. Great message

(22) dina, January 10, 2008 4:27 PM

wish i had heard this when my kids were younger

you speak so eloquently and to the point. even though my children were raised, more or less, frum, i truly wish i had heard these words when they were younger. you are so right that although going to shul is important, it is what they see that ties them to yiddishkeit
i have sent this to my children so that they have this "in time"

(21) Anonymous, January 9, 2008 7:25 PM

You are wonderful. Your commentaries speak straight to me from your heart. You evoke images of my grandfather..and stir pride in my heritage. Thank-you!

(20) Anonymous, January 9, 2008 7:08 PM

my eyes didnt just well up with tears, i cried out loud!

frum woman, age 50, always frum. But sooo moved by your message. May your talent for communicating effectively, with your heart, soul, intellect and charm, bring more and more Jews back. Home.

(19) Anonymous, January 9, 2008 8:02 AM


Im already orthodox, but you still made me cry. You speek so beautifull.
I love your speaches...
Dont ever ever ever in youre life stop!

(18) Annette, January 8, 2008 10:04 PM

Great to hear this

good reminder that home is the essential place to lead by example!
Thanks Lori.

(17) Marc Shapiro, January 8, 2008 8:12 PM

The Guy You Met On the Plane

I was moved by your blog. I already had mezuzos on all of our doors and I still agree with #1 and #2. Must have forgot to mention that with all of the turbulence going on. Stay in Touch.


(16) ruth housman, January 8, 2008 6:41 PM

what's most powerful

For me, what is most powerful is Lori herself. Obviously Lori loves being a Jew and all that Judaism connotes, that goes deeper than tradition. I totally respect her comments but I am coming from a different place. I see that there is a spirituality of being, which for me, she radiates, but which I find everywhere I find truly spiritual, compassionate, caring people. Now I was told that the underlying spirituality, the basis of Judaism can be found in all religions as the substrate and this is the bedrock I draw from in teaching my children. I am a Jew. I identify this way. But for me, the choices my children make are less important than their spirituality, and that is about caring and loving and yes, knowing their roots but those roots can spread and for me yes, there is a danger in the loss of "this", being a Jew but also a deeper danger that comes from the non recognition of that commonality and a hope for world peace, that we are all in this together and that ultimately the roots have a common Source, namely HaShem.

(15) Nechama, January 8, 2008 5:55 PM


We did all of the suggestions, including keeping kosher, and being shabbat observant and my daughter who is turning 20 wants to marry her goyishe boyfriend. Now what??? HELP!!

(14) Uri Yitzchak, January 8, 2008 3:17 PM

great! your comments-wish I could have a child to teach all these wonderful lessons

(13) Jennifer, January 8, 2008 2:42 PM

Tefilin left an impression on my father's arm - & my soul.

I busrt into tears when you said, "Tefilin." I remember listing to my father, zt"l, daven when I was small. I learned those tefilos as one melodious word. I loved ducking under his tallis with him. Later on I'd run my fingers over the lines the tefilin left in his left arm. At his unveiling I spoke of how my father was now under Hashem's tallis. "Children learn what they live," to quote the popular poem, and we live at home. What we DO in our homes is what they LEARN and what we teach them their first precious years is indelible. We didn't observe Shabbos but I remember my mother lighting candles during my early childhood. We were fairly kosher in the house, and I even attended yeshiva for 1st grade. As my parents' marriage disintegrated, so did much of what remained of our Jewish practice. I walked down many paths for about a decade before coming home as a ba'alas teshuva, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that these earliest experiences helped keep the embers of my pintele yid aglow until they could be stoked back to a flame. Thank you for your weekly inspiration.

(12) Anonymous, January 8, 2008 1:11 PM

Thank you for your advise. I was not brought up Jewish. After, I was married and had children of my own I found out I am indeed Jewish. Since then in our home we have begun doing these very things you talked about: lighting the shabbas candles, saying the shema and reading the torah. It is not only a blessing but it's transforming our lives. Thanks again for confirming what we should be doing.

(11) Sara Rigler, January 8, 2008 12:59 PM

This was great. Lori's love for and acceptance of every Jew shines through her airplane encounter. How could anyone resist?

(10) Anonymous, January 8, 2008 12:11 PM

Beautifully thought out and movingly delivered.

Beautifully thought out and movingly delivered. Keep up the good work.
Regards to your husband. Toronto misses you all. Be well.

(9) sharon, January 8, 2008 9:15 AM

I enjoy your shirum weekly. I agree with the mezuzahs, and how about kashrus? Learning for 15 minutes a day to strengthen his Jewishness? Listening to an aish lecture on his MP3 while he's driving?

(8) Anonymous, January 8, 2008 9:11 AM

Dear Lori,
I knew someone by the name of Yan Palatnik a long time ago. He emigrated to America in 1974 from Odessa, Ukrain. I wonder if he is related to you.

On a different note, my husband and I are baal teshuva. We discovered Jedaism 5 years ago and became orthodox. The problem is that our 3 daughters are all adults now, between the ages of 24 and 30 and they do not share (to put it mildly) our love for Jedaism. Everything you've said on your video is so true but it's too late for us. I hope that other Jews who have children of a younger age heed your advise and bring yidishkait into their home.
I recently bought your book, "Friday night and Beyond". My husband and I read it on Shabat and we love it.
We do a lot of kirruv, we opened a shul in our neighborhood as well.
We'd like to buy a dozen or so of that book and give them out to people who are starting out on the path of Torah.
Is there any way to get it at a discount? We are not very rich and supporting a shul is a costly undertaking. We think your book is perfect for a newcomer.
Please send your response to
Thank you in advance,

(7) Melech Michaels, Sofer, January 8, 2008 8:45 AM

# 3 for single Jewish mom

Rachel, for a single Jewish mother such as yourself,number three should be to put kosher mezuzos on all of your doors.

(6) Rachel, January 8, 2008 8:36 AM


I am sitting here crying after watching this, remembering my Papa and his tefillin. I always saw strength when I watched him pray. What would number 3 be for a single Jewish mom who already does the first 2, but obviously can't do number 3?

(5) anonymous, January 8, 2008 8:35 AM

I listen to your shiurum weekly. This is greatly on point. I recently married and recoil from the Yidlach who say " long as you're happy.." to a child in regard to intermarriage at a young age. The metamessage is you won't necessarily be happy in a Jewish marriage. We need, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, to make a Jewish home, with books, shabbos and pride that will foster the same in forging elements for a healthy decision in marriage and lifestyle.

(4) Ilene, January 8, 2008 7:55 AM

so true

This brought me to tears as I remembered the image of my recently departed mother every Friday lighting the Shabbos candles. Lori is right, that image is burned into my hard drive.
Thank you Lori for your all your wonderful presentations.

(3) yael mermelstein, January 7, 2008 12:59 AM

This was beautiful- made me cry with happiness for what I have and what I can give over to my children,ache for those who don't know the beauty of Shabboss and Torah, and injected me with optimism that everyone can attain a connection to G-d with these small simple steps. Lori- you are really something special!

(2) Anonymous, January 6, 2008 8:39 PM

Hi Lori!
I must say, I am a HUGE fan of your shiurs!I was so excited to see that you put up a new shiur just now. It's your little words of wisdom that push me forward and remind me that Hashem loves us. Thank you.

(1) Aaron, January 6, 2008 6:08 AM

very nice story

These are things that I currently do today. But when I hear this story it inspires me to observe these mitzvot with even greater kavana(sincerity/commitment).


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