Grade 8: Friendship Seminar
This past Monday the students spent time during Jewish Studies building new friendships at Hillel Lodge. Each student was paired with a Hillel Lodge resident based on their own personal interests. They discussed their families, hobbies, and began to get to know each other.
We will be discussing the following themes throughout our Friendship Seminar:
1. If I am only for myself, what am I? (Ethics of our Fathers, Pirkei Avot 1:14)
What is a friend?
2. R’ Pinchas said: When a person is singing and cannot lift his voice and another, who has the strength, comes and sings along – then then the first person is able to lift his voice too. That is the secret of the bond between two souls. (Adapted from Buber, Tales of Chasidim p.126)
How does harmony symbolize friendships?
3. Friendship and the meaning of support. Using tangible objects beams, walls, ladders, etc., students will understand the impact of friendship
4. The verse says: “When things are going well, be joyful, at time when things are difficult – Look!” (Kohelet 7:14) R’ Tanchum explained this to mean that when things are going well for your friend – celebrate with him. If your friend is having difficulties – “LOOK” and see what you can do to help and support him. (Pesikta Kahana 191b)
What makes a true friend?
5. Any friendship (love) that is dependent upon something, as soon as that thing is gone – the friendship is over! A friendship (love) that is not dependent on anything, that friendship will last forever! (Ethics of Our Fathers, Pirkei Avot 5:16)
Are there different classifications of friendships?
6. The book of Ruth describes a phenomenal relationship between no less than a mother in-law and daughter in-law. Initially brought together through marriage, their relationship developed into one of sacrifice and ultimately great joy.
Can family members truly have friendships with one another?