As a whole, we don’t deserve Mandy Patinkin. Truly. The menschiest mensch ever — who recently posted an incredible response to a grieving fan who lost her dad to cancer — is back at it with the heartwarming posts we didn’t know we needed.
This time, Patinkin is leaving town and is sad to leave his dog, Becky, behind. He’s so sad, in fact, that he recorded Jewish prayers for his son to play to her while he’s away.
OK just to back up a tiny bit, we already knew that singer and actor Patinkin — who is also a master shofar blower — gets all spiritual before feeding his rescue Labrador, Becky. Back in March of this year, Patinkin shared that he recites three Jewish prayers every time he fills her bowl with kibble: the Mi Sheberach, the Shema, and the Motzi. (You can, and should, watch that entire conversation — and learn more about these prayers — here.)
Recently, however, Patinkin had to leave his upstate New York home for Los Angeles (he is an actor, after all). That meant leaving his beloved Becky in the care of his son, Gideon, who also records the many wonderful posts Patinkin and his equally amazing wife Kathryn Grody have been uploading to social media (bless you, Gideon!).
“Do you trust me to look after your dog?” Gideon asks his father in a video posted to the actor’s social media accounts, just in time for Rosh Hashanah. (A Jewish New Year’s gift for us? I’m choosing to believe that it is!)
“I know that if you don’t, you don’t want to be around when I come home,” Patinkin responds emotionally as he packs a bag for the trip, his first flight since Covid began.
“I walk Becky incessantly,” Gideon says defensively, as his dad tells him that he knows he has a different attitude when it comes to the pup. “I have a very much ‘keep your dog alive attitude.'”
Later, as Patinkin gets his nosh on before the flight, Gideon asks his father: “How Jewish is Becky at this point?”
“She says all her blessings every meal,” Patinkin answers, and, amazingly adds, “She is in training for her bat mitzvah.”
“In dog years it’s right around the corner,” Gideon concurs.
“I think it’s gonna be on Zoom because of Covid,” Patinkin adds.
“Another dog bat mitzvah on Zoom,” Gideon responds, dully.
OK BUT SERIOUSLY: How do we get invites to this bark mitzvah? We are all very invested in Becky’s wellbeing and Jewish education right now! Can it maybe be live-streamed for charity to combine Patinkin’s two favorite things — tzedakah and Becky? Just tossing out some ideas!
Back to the prayers. As Patinkin fresses on his halibut and potatoes, he asks Gideon if he wants him to record the blessings for Becky, because, as he asserts: “I think she’d like to hear it.” Honestly, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t really a question — there’s no way Patinkin would’ve gotten on that plane without recording those prayers, and we all know it.
Later, we see Patinkin say goodbye to Becky as he gets into the car to head to the airport. “You take care of your brother, OK? You’ll hear me with your prayers at every meal and we’ll talk on FaceTime,” he tells her. “Oh, I don’t want to cry.”
But the last part of the video is arguably the best, (though of course, its entirety is just a feast of delights). You see, Gideon films himself playing the recording of the prayers to Becky, and it is even more adorable than anticipated.
As he plays the recording of the prayers, which Patinkin sings beautifully and heartfully (he is a Tony award winner, after all), Becky is markedly excited, barking and wagging her tail. Is it because she’s excited to eat? Of course! But it’s also pretty clear she’s enjoying her dad’s voice. She waits patiently for the recording to end, and for Gideon to say “OK” so she can partake in her meal. Is Becky the best dog? Yes, yes she is.
Thank you for this magic, Patinkin family — particularly Becky — and chag sameach to all of you! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch this video on repeat for the rest of the day.