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Takes All Kinds

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Our Sages taught:

…make yourself a teacher, acquire a friend…

(It was Y’hoshua ben P’rachyah in Avot 1:6 if you are really curious.)

May 1994. Luncheon for incoming rabbinic students at HUC. There was something about this girl that just drew me in. In so many ways, we were (and remain) nothing alike! She is all about healthy foods. Whole grains. Vegetarian (most of the time). And lactose-sensitive which cuts out milk chocolate. No soda. Nothing alike!! She is artistic, creative, incredibly sensitive, smart, and loads of fun. I don’t know why we are friends.

That first year of our relationship was a rocky one. We were at different places in our personal and Jewish journeys. After spending virtually every moment together during summer Ulpan, we decided that we needed a break and rarely spoke for the rest of the academic year. I mourned the loss.

The end of our Jerusalem year coincided with DadGiraffe’s DHL ceremony. He was scheduled to work on his dissertation during his first sabbatical but conveniently scheduled his non-malignant pituitary gland tumour removal during that time. So instead of being awarded his degree during my junior year at IC, it had been put off until three years later. I was distraught at the thought of missing the ceremony.

Looking back, God’s involvement is clear. Standing by the mailboxes with my dad’s graduation invitation in my hand, she was the only other person there at that late hour. After not speaking for most of the year, for some reason this girl was the one God sent to guide me to my ultimate decision — to leave Israel during finals and return home in time to surprise my family.

Her advice, then as now, has always been calm, rational, and guided not only by mind but by soul. She remains not only a friend but a teacher.

Over the years, together we have discovered ourselves between lines of text, danced at one another’s weddings, shared joyful news of pregnancies, celebrated professional joys, and provided necessary, and sometimes difficult, guidance.

We need different types of friends to help us grow and evolve into the best version of ourselves. Our Sages were so wise when they instructed us to gather close people who can love and guide us.

Happy double-chai birthday, my friend, and thank you for welcoming us into into your home and heart.

And that’s my Torah this week. Zip over to the Ima and let her know what your Torah is.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, 3 April 2008 3:50 pm

    what a lovely tribute to friendship.
    welcome home!

  2. vlh permalink
    Tuesday, 22 April 2008 11:13 am

    You touched my heart. Thank you. Much love.

  3. Bkm permalink
    Tuesday, 22 April 2008 3:19 pm

    You are writing about my daughter and seeing what you wrote brought tears to my eyes. We’re very proud of her but it’s also nice to know that other people also appreciate the person she is. VLH, you bring joy to our lives.

  4. אבא permalink
    Wednesday, 23 April 2008 8:19 pm

    It’s a feeling of pride and comfort that fills a father’s heart when others speak words of admiration and love to his child.

    God gives us our relatives, but friends… thank God we can choose, as friendship multiplies our joy and divide our grief it is the medicine of life.

    כן יירבו, אמן

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