Stories & Memories of Menachem Mendel Plotkin

By: Joel Goldhirsch May 15

A shining light

To Goldie and children, and the Plotkin and Wolosow families,

I am sitting and trying to pen some thoughts, fighting through the awful pain every time I think about Mendel no longer being with us. It’s beyond unbearable to say the least. Mendel was seriously one of the most amazing people that I have known. I always felt that I was beyond fortunate to have such a dear friend in Mendel.

From when we first met almost 24 years ago, you couldn’t help but notice what incredible Middos he had. He lived a life so full of Torah, mitzvos, chassidishkeit and Rebbe. These middos were so imbued in him, that he gave off such a shining light. These traits, together with his unique cheeky smile and laugh, you couldn’t help but be attracted to his energy.

Mendel’s care and interest in others was beyond. I can barely think of a time that we spoke that he didn’t enquire about other people he knew, wanting to check that they were doing okay and asking to send his personal regards.

He had such a brilliant mind that was always being used for good. I always felt that you never ever needed to repeat anything to him a second time or explain further, he always just got “it”. He was incredibly patient, great company to be around and a terrific listener. I used to joke with him that you could sense his mind was always racing, thinking of some practical advice or solution. That advice was always to give help to another person. You couldn’t help but sense how important ahavas yisroel and helping another person was to him. If you dared give Mendel a compliment, he always gave a smile and attempted to turn down the flattery in his humble and refined way. That was just who Mendel was.

Mendel never complained, he always tried to take the best attitude in absolutely everything he did. As we learn in Pirkei Avos - איזהו עשיר השמח בחלקו - I feel that this sums up how Mendel lived his own life, whilst also putting in so much additional efforts to make sure others had what they needed too.

We are all so fortunate beyond words to have had Mendel in our lives, but that doesn’t take away the incredible pain and enormous void that we are left with now. I hope that the family can take some comfort in knowing what an incredible impact he left on so many.

Joel Goldhirsch Melbourne, Australia

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