How Many Friends Can You Carry? The Torah of Letting Go and the Torah of Reconnecting

October 13, 2016

Is it a Jewish value to keep your friendships going?  What if a friend has done you wrong?  Or what if a loved one demands an apology from you for something you haven't done?   Are there moral consequences to your using Facebook?

Many of us are influenced by a superficial, romanticized image of friendship combined with the Facebook compulsion that "the more friends the better."  The truth is, often the more friends we have the fewer deep, real relationships we are having, especially in the present moment.  We are changing all the time, and if we try to keep all our friends, or many, the weight of all those relationships can weigh us down, as we drag a connection that worked in the past into the present where it no longer applies.  In the end, we live in the past, minimizing our openness to new friendships.  In this presentation, I discuss two very different experiences I approached Jewishly as I did my reckoning of whom I wanted to carry into my future.  In both cases, I had to decide whether to repair a broken friendship with someone dear to me.  In one case, I let them go, Jewishly, and in the other, I made a difficulty sacrifice in reconnecting to them.

This sermon was delivered Erev Rosh HaShanah.   

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