Acquire a friend, our Rabbis teach. Not make a friend or become a friend. Acquire a friend.
I have written many times in this column of my special friendship with Pastor John Paul Foster of Faithful Central Bible Church. We dine together, we pray together. We have laughed together and we have cried together.
The Talmud teaches, “I have learned much from my teachers and more from my friends than from my teachers.” To have a friend is to have a true relationship, moments when you can lean on the other, moments when they can lean on you. To have a friend is to have a lifeline; knowing they are a phone call away.
Last Sunday, after a difficult weekend for us all, I knew I needed to call my friend. I needed to see how he was doing, I needed to see how his community felt, and I needed to hear him tell me how my community should feel.
It was natural. To hear the Pastor’s voice on the line was a comfort. To hear his pain and to hear his hope. To hear his anguish and to hear his gratitude. Making a friend is for benefit of the individual. Acquiring a friend is for the benefit of the relationship, for our Rabbis teach, “A true friend is one of virtue, where the intention of the other is one, to do good.”
As the week progressed, we knew we must do more than talk. We must gather together. Tonight, we gather virtually, hand in hand, for a Shabbat of Healing & Hope. A Shabbat of friendship, a Shabbat to tell the world a true friendship cannot be broken. Please join us tonight (details below) and Shabbat Shalom.