!חברותא או מיתותא Chevruta O Mituta! Friendship or Death! TOFN 16 November 2018 - ט כסלו תשע״ט
1 א

**Please excuse the androcentrism of these texts - they apply to all humans regardless of gender**

2 ב

(יח) וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ ה' אֱלֹהִ֔ים לֹא־ט֛וֹב הֱי֥וֹת הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְבַדּ֑וֹ אֶֽעֱשֶׂהּ־לּ֥וֹ עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃

(18) Adonai God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.”

  • This statement in context is referring to the creation of Eve. God decided that Adam needed a companion to be fully human. This notion is expanded upon through the study technique of chevruta and the minyan, a community needed to pray fully.
3 ג

יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן פְּרַחְיָה אוֹמֵר, עֲשֵׂה לְךָ רַב, וּקְנֵה לְךָ חָבֵר, וֶהֱוֵי דָן אֶת כָּל הָאָדָם לְכַף זְכוּת:

Yehoshua ben Perachia says, "Make for yourself a mentor, acquire for yourself a friend, and judge every person as meritorious."

  • What is the understanding of friendship in this text?

  • Why does this text use the word ‘acquire’ for making a friend?

4 ד

והאוהבים ג' מינים אוהב תועלת אוהב מנוחה ואוהב מעלה אמנם אוהב תועלת כאהבת שני השותפים ואהבת המלך ומחנהו ואמנם אוהב מנוחה הוא ב' מינים אוהב הנאה ואוהב בטחון אמנם אוהב הנאה כאהבת הזכרים לנקבות וכיוצא בהם. ואמנם אוהב בטחון הוא שיהיה לאדם אוהב תבטח נפשו בו לא ישמר ממנו לא במעשה ולא בדבור ויודיעהו כל עניניו הטוב מהם והמגונה מבלתי שירא ממנו שישיגהו בכל זה חסרון לא אצלו ולא זולתו כי כשיגיע לאדם בטחון באיש זה השעור ימצא מנוחה גדולה בדבריו ובאהבתו הרבה. ואוהב מעלה הוא שיהיה תאות שניהם וכונתם לדבר אחד והוא הטוב וירצה כל אחד להעזר בחבירו בהגיע הטוב ההוא לשניהם יחד וזה האוהב אשר צוה לקנותו:

And there are three types of friends: a friend for benefit, a friend for enjoyment and a friend for virtue. Indeed, a friend for benefit is like the friendship of two [business] partners and the friendship of a king and his court; whereas the friendship for enjoyment is of two types - the friend for pleasure and the friend for confidence. Indeed, the friend for pleasure is like the friendship of males and females and similar to it; whereas the friend for confidence is when a man has a friend to whom he can confide his soul. He will not keep [anything] from him - not in action and not in speech. And he will make him know all of his affairs - the good ones and the disgraceful - without fearing from him that any loss will come to him with all of this, not from him and not from another. As when a person has such a level of confidence in a man, he finds great enjoyment in his words and in his great friendship. And a friend for virtue is when the desire of both of them and their intention is for one thing, and that is the good. And each one wants to be helped by his friend in reaching this good for both of them together. And this is the friend which he commanded to acquire;

  • How does Rambam’s explanation explore our instruction to be in community?

5ה

Seventh Blessing of the Sheva Berakhot recited at a wedding

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה חָתָן וְכַלָּה גִּילָה רִנָּה דִּיצָה וְחֶדְוָה אַהֲבָה וְאַחֲוָה וְשָׁלוֹם וְרֵעוּת. מְהֵרָה ה' אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ יִשָּׁמַע בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְחֻצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָםִ קוֹל שָׂשׂוֹן וְקוֹל שִׂמְחָה קוֹל חָתָן וְקוֹל כַּלָּה קוֹל מִצְהֲלוֹת חֲתָנִים מֵחֻפָּתָם וּנְעָרִים מִמִּשְׁתֵּה נְגִינָתָם. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' מְשַׂמֵּֽחַ חָתָן עִם הַכַּלָּה׃

We praise You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of joy and gladness, friends and lovers, love and kinship, peace and friendship. O God, may there always be heard in the cities of Israel and in the streets of Jerusalem: the sounds of joy and happiness, the voice of loving couples, the shouts of young people celebrating, and the songs of children at play. We praise you, Adonai our God, who causes lovers to rejoice together. - Translation from reformjudaism.org/jewish-rituals-wedding-day

6 ו

Martin Buber "I and Thou" found in David Novack's Contemporary Jewish Thought

  • As experience, the world belongs to the primary word I-It. The primary word I-Thou establishes the world of relation
  • Being, lived in dialogue, receives even in extreme dereliction a harsh and strengthening sense of reciprocity; being lived in monologue, will not, even in the tenderest intimacy, grope out over the outlines of the self.
7 ז

"If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends
Make it last forever, friendship never ends
If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give
Taking is too easy, but that's the way it is"

- "Wannabe" by Spice Girls