Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.

On Making New Friends
by Rabbi Yonasan Rosenblum
This article orignally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine

  Rated by 1 user   |   Viewed 12111 times since 7/15/09   |   1 Comment
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend


At the beginning of parashas Korach, Rabbeinu Bachye links Korach's sin, to the earlier sins of the Generation of Separation and the men of Sdom. Each denied the unity, or interrelatedness, of existence. The Generation of the Separation sought to wage war on Hashem and create an independent kingdom on earth, in which they would establish the rules. The men of Sdom lived according to the credo that each person must be solely responsible for his own fate, neither seeking from nor providing help to others. And Targum Onkelos translates the opening words of the parashah – "And Korach took" – to mean "he separated himself."

Shalom is a name of Hashem. Rabbi Moshe Schapiro explains the difference between a Divine Name and a Divine middah one of the ways that Hashem manifests Himself in the world. A Divine middah like Emes (Truth), can be found in the world at some level, not directly related to Hashem.

But a quality expressed in the Divine name has no real existence apart from Hashem. Only to the extent that human beings connect themselves to Hashem does Shalom (peace) become possible. Only then to we experience the essential interconnectedness of being: Each of us needs others and complements others in turn.

Not by accident are the Torah Sages referred to as chaveirim (friends). Only they are capable of the deepest expression of connection (chibur between one being and another. They are the perfection of that singular friendship each of us requires – the friendship of one who seeks our perfection and gives us the tochachah (reproof) needed to attain it. "Acquire for yourself a friend" (Pirkei Avos1:6), our Sages tell us: Expend whatever it takes to create that unique friendship.

Apart from our need for one close friend, we differ in our friendship needs. There are introverts and extroverts.

But given the interconnectedness of being that Hashem built into the world, we should not be surprised to find that the number and depth of friendships are one of the best predictors of our satisfaction with life and our physical and mental well-being. Friends, statistics show, are even more important to older people than children.

Chazal stress the importance of having friends with whom to share a burden, and modern psychology experiments bear this out. A person standing at the bottom of a steep incline and carrying a heavy backpack, will estimate of the steepness of the incline to be less if a friend is standing with him.

Yet despite the crucial importance of friendships for a fulfilled life, most of us stop making new friends past a certain age, unless something shakes up our routine. And even more sadly, too many of the friendships we do have stop developing. We tend to assume that we know whatever there is to know about those whom we see frequently.

BECAUSE I TRAVEL frequently, I'm always meeting new people. When you stay in someone's house, it is natural to ask one another lots of exploratory questions. I frequently find myself talking until 2:00 a.m. or later with my hosts. Perhaps because one does not see these people every day, and will likely not see them again for a long time, one finds oneself sharing easily.

After one of these late night marathons, one awakens with a smile on one's face. Just knowing that you can still make a new friend and connect to someone else at a deep level makes you feel young. It reminds us of that moment, decades earlier, when it suddenly hit you in the middle of a date that you had met your life partner.

I have not made some of my closest friends past the age of fifty because of some special talent for friendship, but because I'm often thrown together with people in circumstances that expedite getting to a deeper level of connection. On the road, we approach new people with eyes wide open and alert.

But travel is only a catalyst. We can all do this without leaving home if we just open ourselves up for the possibility of new friendships. All it requires is getting rid of the assumption that we know all there is to know about those we already know.

One unexpected place to look for new friends is among those with whom one has experienced tension in the past. All one has to do is remember a few simple rules: people change; the context in which one meets a person may bring out one of their traits but hide dozens of others that would be more important in another context; you could have been wrong in either a particular disagreement or your earlier evaluation of someone.

Even if one does not become a close friend of a former enemy, there is a particular satisfaction of shortening one's enemy list. A young avreich told me recently how in yeshiva, he had gone out of his way to make life generally difficult for one of the members of the administration. When his first son was born, however, that newly matured avreich asked that member of the hanhola member to be the sandek. The latter was thrilled. And the young father said that it was the best decision he ever made in his life.

But it can go much beyond just burying the hatchet. For many years, I worked on a particular project with someone. Either we did not share a common vision, or we could not articulate our respective views well enough to find common ground. At some point, however, we both reached the conclusion that we just had to start again.

Not only did the project itself benefit, but joining forces, each adding what the other could not, became one of the most exciting aspects of the work. When that project finished, we were each filled with a palpable sadness that we would no longer be in thrice daily contact, and would have to find other ways to preserve the connection with our new "brother."

Hashem created the world with the necessity of connecting to others. And when we do so at a deep level, the joy we feel is that of coming closer to Him, and removing ourselves from Korach and his congregation.

To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.

Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 1 user    (1 comment)
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.

Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593