As I mentioned in a recent post, Eikev is my aufruff parsha. I have attended many aufruffs and I love them. The funny stories, the camaraderie, the excitement, the food, the singing, the hugs... It is so much fun when all of the old high school and some newer friends get together.
But regrettably, I didn't have that. I left high school in 11th grade and in 10th my attendance was sporadic at best. So my high school experience was very limited. I couldn't have high school friends at my aufruff because I didn't have many [and the one's I had weren't really always the greatest friends - my closest friend from then never answers my emails to this day, so I stopped trying - but it was good while it lasted. Anyway - he is busy hedging, whatever that means. As for my other friends - with one exception, when I suddenly disappeared from high school nobody called to find out what happened to me and where I went. Friends?? Just my chemistry teacher Mr. Tarendash (so I am told) would call me out at attendance every day and when I wouldn't answer he would say "Where is that Ehrman???"], and also because the aufruff was in Israel and they were all in America. At the time I was in Yeshivat Hakotel and I guess I was friendly with the Israelis but not enough that they would attend my aufruff. Some of them came to the wedding. So the people at the aufruff were a little bit of family and people who lived in the town where I made it [in the Gush Dan section of Israel, near Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak].
So why am I telling you this?
Well, since I have been invited to a number of aufruffs of boys from the Yeshivos where I learned [located in the Old City], I wanted to be makir tova and show my appreciation. I always find them very touching and emotional and really value that they allowed me to be part of that.
So thank you to those close friends!!!
I also wanted to stress the importance of BEING a good friend and HAVING good friends. According to Pirkei Avos [2, 9], that is one of the most important things a person should seek in life. To this day, although I am friendly with many people, I have few people whom I consider and who would consider me real friends. Many people whom I thought were real friends have disappointed me over the years. What is a real friend according to my definition? Maybe for another post.
The bottom line is - seek deep abiding friendships. They enhance quality of life and Avodas Hashem considerably. [It goes without saying that Facebook "friends" are real friends like I am a real salamander].
Dovid Hamelech said חבר אני לכל אשר יראוך - I am a friend to all those who fear You. I hope that one day I am zocheh to say the same about myself.
I hope to revisit this topic in the future. If I forget - you can remind me:-).