People who need people...

Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 - 11:51 am


In a stressful and fast paced environment, there’s nothing like a good friend to set things back on track. Living in an age where we are connected to more people than ever before, we are still left feeling disconnected from those around us. We might know when 150 people last sneezed but do we know when two people last felt overwhelmed? Or needed our support?

Reaching out to another person and connecting with them in a genuine and concerned way doesn’t just make the other person happy and isn’t just an act of altruistic kindness, rather it is a significant key to our own happiness as well.

“Close friends not only prolong people’s lives; but on a day-to-day basis they contribute more to most adults’ happiness than even their children do” says Dennis Prager author of Happiness is a Serious Problem. Friends are able to give perspective in difficult situations and their care just makes troubles feel lighter. As it says in Ethics of our Fathers ‘you should ‘buy’ for yourself a friend’.

When it came to counting the Jewish people (in this week’s Torah portion), G-d wanted to give us just that message. Everything that was used for the building of the tabernacle was of the finest quality and was required to be a complete and perfect object. Animals for sacrifices could not be missing a limb, Priests serving in the temple could not be maimed, materials could not have a scratch or hole etc, but the donation given to the Tabernacle as part of the census had to be specifically a ‘half a shekel’.

G-d told Moses to count the Jewish people by having them donate a half shekel coin to the Tabernacle. The Torah continues by telling us that half a shekel is the equivalent of ten geirah. With ten being a more whole and complete number, when the emphasis had thus far been on complete items, the need to specify thehalf shekel is intriguing.

The reason for the half shekel and not a whole was to teach us that essentially we are all incomplete beings, and that only when we connect with another person do we attain completeness for ourselves.

By doing a kindness for another we achieve a feeling of wholeness that envelopes us with a sense of joy, and what better way to acquire a friend than to be a good one.

Stay safe and warm,


Picture of the week:20140211_125745.jpg


Law School lunch and learn got off to a great start!  

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