The Chofetz Chaim’s Best Friend — How not to be friends or a spouse

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  • #1430589

    Joseph
    Participant

    Rav Avigdor Miller on The Chofetz Chaim’s Best Friend

    Q: It was said here recently that the Chofetz Chaim didn’t have any cronies, any friends, with whom he spent a lot of time. But didn’t you tell us that Chazal teach קנה לך חבר, that a friend is so important that you should even be willing to pay for a good friend? 

    A: When you have a chaver it doesn’t mean a crony. A chaver means somebody who helps you in your business. Let’s say you have a partner who helps you make money; so after you finish your business hours you go home and you forget about him. Do you have to call him up late at night and talk to him all hours of the night?! You have to talk to him and confide in him all your private affairs?! No! He’s a chaver in business, that’s all. 

    And if you have a chaver in learning, so he’s a chaver in learning. He’s your friend who helps you in the business of learning. But he’s not a crony, someone who will help you waste away your life. You don’t need a chaver in everything in life!  Even a husband and wife, I must tell you the truth, they’re not chaveirim completely. Each one lives their own life.

    And therefore, the Chofetz Chaim was a busy man. He helped everyone, and was kind to everyone, but he didn’t have cronies; he didn’t have chaverim just for the purpose of being busy with people. And he had one very important chaver – Hakodosh Boruch Hu. And he was spending all of his time with Him. And that chaver was his only true friend. 

    Tape # 804 (September 1990)

    #1433666

    Joseph
    Participant

    May we all be zoche to have the relationships with our spouse and friends the same as the Chofetz Chaim did.

    #1433670

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Classic Joseph.

    #1434103

    Joseph
    Participant

    Classic Chofetz Chaim.

    #1434130

    Matan1
    Participant

    Are you saying one shouldn’t have friends?

    #1434179

    Joseph
    Participant

    I’m not the one saying anything. I just cited the Chofetz Chaim zt’l though Rav Miller zt’l.

    #1434200

    Matan1
    Participant

    Are you saying Rav Miller, as cited by the Chofetz Chaim, believes that one shouldn’t have friends?

    #1434185

    (There’s nothing there about the Chofetz Chaim’s own relationship with his rebbetzin.)

    From the Mesilas Yeshorim: >The first 3 lines of Chapter 13<,
    >the first 2 lines of this page<,
    >and the next 2 paragraphs starting at the bottom of this page.<

    #1434216

    mdd1
    Participant

    Typical Joseph. Granted Rabbi Miller held like that. I don’t know if Chafetz Chaim did. Chazal don’t appear to imply like that. Okay, but you should not let your friendships lead to botulism Torah either.

    #1434217

    Joseph
    Participant

    Matan: Again, I said nothing. I simply provided a transcript of what was said by others.

    #1434220

    mdd1
    Participant

    Bitul Torah, I meant. Auto spell check 🙁

    #1434239

    Matan1
    Participant

    I am asking you how to interpret this quote from Rav Miller.

    #1434251

    Joseph
    Participant

    No, he’s not saying that one shouldn’t have friends.

    #1434264

    Matan1
    Participant

    Then what is your interpretation of this quote?

    #1434270

    Joseph
    Participant

    He’s telling you what kind of friends to have and what kind not to have. I think he was pretty clear in his own words.

    #1434315

    CS
    Participant

    So how would you define Dovid and Yonasans friendship? And im asking you, even though youre quoting Rabbi Miller, because his point from his own words is not to hock a cheinik with anyone, and you’re bolding some words to make a point that you shouldn’t be friends with a spouse which was definitely not his point.

    #1434329

    Joseph
    Participant

    Dovid and Yonasan’s friendship would fall into the described parameters here.

    And his point about spouses is self-explanatory.

    #1434327

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    If you freeze your sifrei Torah without properly sealing them first, botulism Torah is a real concern.

    #1435397

    shlomo_frid
    Participant

    Joseph: with all due respect to R’ A.M. the description of the love between David and Yonasan doesn’t resemble what he is describing; their friendship is the one of love which doesn’t depend on anything; Rav Ovadia also describes that as the love between tzadikim and chachomim

    #1435618

    Joseph
    Participant

    Dovid HaMelech and Yonason weren’t cronies who batteled time playing chess and shooting breeze with each other. Same with talmidim, tzaddikim and chachomim.

    #1435612

    Joseph, it’s pretty clear that you are trying to read
    (or put) something into the text that just isn’t there.

    #1435635

    Joseph
    Participant

    Random: Which text? And what do you see being read into it?

    #1435644

    ZionGate
    Participant

    People: Don’t go bananas because Joseph here is trying to sell us Rav Miller’s point of view on friendship.
    It’s an interesting ‘teitch’ but remember Choni Hamagil , after 70 years of sleep, all his friends dead, said famously ” Give me friends or death”. So go spin that whichever way you want till heads spin..
    Yehuda had at least one friend whom the Torah mentions, Chira. Plenty in Taanach about tzaddikim and friends, etc. Whether Dovid played chess with Yonason is not something you, Joseph, know. I would bet they did. So what? That makes them less tzaddikim? Croney is an awful word anyway… Trying to diminish healthy friendship among people with a “pejorative’ kinda word with that kind of ring. People need friends unless you’re an almost -malach.
    Did the Chofetz Chaim have a wife altogether?? Gee, you’d never know it by the Photoshopped pictures.
    Gimme a break.

    #1435649

    ZionGate
    Participant

    …And Chira wasn’t even Jewish, while Yehudah was one of Shivtei Ku..
    Now if Chofetz Chaim didn’t need friends, fine.
    Most of us do, at least be with other humans and let’s be honest about it and not pretend, or be anxious that there’s something wrong with it. Nothing’s wrong with it, it’s healthy.

    #1435656

    Joseph
    Participant

    For the seventy second time: the issue isn’t whether to have friends; the issue is about what kind of friends to have.

    #1435663

    Matan1
    Participant

    Joseph, you say the issue is not about having friends. But you quote* Rav Miller saying “A chaver means somebody who helps you in your business”. That doesn’t sound like a chaver. That sounds like an accountant.

    *Please don’t respond by saying something like “I was just citing a source”. I want to know what you think.

    #1435709

    CS
    Participant

    Great so we’re in agreement. I also don’t like wasting time with my husband, we strive to learn together or work on meaningful projects or mitzvos. If that was your point you could have just quoted pirkei avos, “Al tarbe sicha im haisha bishto… Kal vchomer beishes chavero.”

    And of course with a marriage there needs to be time spent enjoying the relationship but that’s a mitzva not wasting time.

    Same with friends. If you play a game to relax so that afterwards you have more energy and mental space to learn or do mitzvos, it’s great.

    If your waste time just to waste time that’s problematic.

    But you could have just said that.

    #1435725

    ZionGate
    Participant

    Chabadshlucha,
    Bless your soul, be we know about mitzvos and learning and the whole 9.
    From a human standpoint, Hashem created us to be social animals— some are more, some less.
    I’m not a big social person but I respect others who are.
    Please keep this in mind:
    Ask any parent who has a child with social issues and has difficulty making friends, how it feels.
    It’s a heartache, a searing, painful heartache. First, let’s grow up to be at least semi- normal and healthy, then we’ll deal with mitzvos and mussar and the like.
    Whatever you , don’t revise bio history of rabbis, rebbes, ravs, tzaddikim on us. Besides being a pack of lies, it’s not a way for us to model them. They played ball, chess, fought at school like the rest of us.

    #1435736

    Joseph
    Participant

    ZG: I think it is unfair of you to accuse ChabadShlucha of lying and of revising bio history of rabbis, rebbes, ravs or tzaddikim. Neither she nor HaGaon HaRav Avigdor Miller zichrono tzaddik l’vracha did any such thing.

    That said, when you wrote about the tzaddikim that “They played ball, chess, fought at school like the rest” I realized why you’re making all your errors in your comments here. You mistakenly assumed that HaGaon HaRav Miller zt’l when speaking about the Chofetz Chaim zt’l, as well as Rav Miller’s broader comments in the OP on this topic, are referring to children. As such you correctly point out that as children before they became great tzaddikim most probably indeed played games and maybe even fought.

    But you missed the whole point of this important topic and discussion. We aren’t taking about children here! We’re talking about adults; Bnei Torah. And I assure you that the “rabbis, rebbes, ravs, tzaddikim” among us did not and do not play idle games and shoot breeze with friends, let alone fight like children.

    #1435737

    CS
    Participant

    @ziongate I don’t understand what you disagree with. I disagree with the term you used social animals – we are not animals we are a class above. Calling us animals is like calling animals plants.
    Aside from that do you disagree with my statement that we are not meant to waste time for the sake of wasting time?

    #1435746

    ZionGate
    Participant

    Joseph:
    I’m not accusing her of anything. My statement about revision was meant for the current wave of bio books and articles revising and lying about famous rabbonim.
    Ok, let’s talk about adults.
    Most adults need friends and companionship. Maybe the rabbonim get theirs by the myriads of chassidim or chevras coming en masse to them; tishes, droshos, candle lighting, chametz burnings, gabboim escorts and the rest.
    We, ordinary folks, don’t live that life, hence, we, adults need friends and companions.
    Bnei Torah too. S-L-O- W-L-Y…. Bnai Torah too, however their friendship manifests itself.
    Saw some rabbonim with their “cronies” sitting in the Swiss Alps on vacation a while back, all over YWN.
    I didn’t miss any point , Joseph. I’m alert, oriented and awake, and disagree with Rav Miller on this, and other viewpoints as well. I’m not his groupie.

    Chabadshlucha,
    Did you go past the 5th grade?
    Humans are sometimes called animals in certain contexts.
    Read your Chabad literature a bit more deeply. They also refer to humans sometimes as animals.

    #1435764

    ZionGate
    Participant

    His name escapes me at the moment, but maybe someone can remember him. ( last name began with a B , I think)
    He was a Chassidic businessman, met with prominent world leaders all over the world, a weathy businessman and huge talmid chochom. He was reluctantly appointed rabbi in a shtiebel in the West Side of Manhattan and never sat at the mizrach “shtoot”. Was niftar about 10 years ago.
    In his bio, he recounts how in his Polish shtetel ( near Radom?) ehrliche yidden, on a summer Shabbos would take walks in the park, discuss issues of the day and socialize. He was also an expert in classical music and could instantly name the composer of any piece within hearing the first bar of the composition.
    Not everybody can talk Torah and only Torah 24/7. maybe one in 2 million. I don’t and bet you don’t either. So for whom are you writing this? We already know about not hanging out and noxious friends since we’re kids. Nothing new here.

    Shlucha: Of course I don’t believe in wasting out time or life.
    I think both of you missed my points. But the amcha Yidden reading this, know exactly what I’m talking about.

    #1435789

    ZionGate
    Participant

    The shita of many Litvishe gedolim was to be restrained, not showing emotions too much, keep a parve face. The Chassiddim, on the other hand, were more outwardly warm and friendlier. Rav Miller’s viewpoint reflects the former. Mussardig, stern. Chassisdim ? Warmer, shmoozier, just a different apprapproach . Pick and choose either one.

    #1435748

    ZionGate
    Participant

    … and disagree with Rav Miller on Zionism. Absolutely.
    Didn’t he translate the Satmar talking points into English decades ago, and were published in the NY Times, for all and one to read and see.
    I love his books about how to see Hashem in nature, and even gave them as gifts to non-religious colleagues years ago. Even attended some of his Thursday shiurim in Brooklyn.
    But he’s said some outrageous things, andas I stated earlier, I don’t drink his KoolAde.

    #1435885

    ZionGate
    Participant

    Just remembered…. Rabbi Chaskel Besser , zichrono livracha.

    #1435880

    Joseph
    Participant

    “The shita of many Litvishe gedolim was to be restrained, not showing emotions too much, keep a parve face.”

    Where did you come up with this idea from?

    “… and disagree with Rav Miller on Zionism.”

    You disagree with the position on Zionism of Rav Aharon Kotler, the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Shach, the Chazon Ish, etc., of which Rav Miller simply had exactly the same position as, since his position on Zionism is based on theirs.

    Clearly you’re no Rav Aharon Kotler groupie, Chofetz Chaim kool-aid drinker, Rav Shach groupie or Chazon Ish kool-aid drinker, since you not only reserve the right to disagree with them all, you do disagree with them.

    #1436090

    CS
    Participant

    @ziongate then we are in agreement. It’s fine to socialise as long as it isn’t just to waste time, or as Joseph says, sorting the breeze.

    I learned about mammals etc and think it is wrong to term humans as such, just as we don’t term animals walking plants because they both grow and are alive.this is where the mistaken be a ideology drives from. As I said we are a class above.

    We possess an animalistic soul but aren’t meant to become animals.

    And bless your soul too:)

    #1436371

    MDG
    Participant

    Joseph,

    I think one difficulty that people have with the above approach is that it says to look at people through strictly a utilitarian viewpoint. “What can i get from that person? How can that person be of service to me?” People are then just objects to be used. Kind of psychopathic.

    #1436374

    ZionGate
    Participant

    Joseph:
    You brought up YOUR rabbis and I have mine. We already discussed that on anther thread.
    Your rabbis were against it, my rabbis AND present realty were/are for it.
    BTW… Chofetz Chaim’s position is ambiguous and both sides bring him over to their side.
    Whatever the case, my point was that just because Rav Miller holds positions you agree with, doesn’t mean that I and other have to agree also . If that be not drinking Kool Aid , then THAT be it.
    Chabadshlucha: What I like about you is that you’re sincere and not condescending like some others.

    #1437032

    CS
    Participant

    @ziongate I’ve been accused of that so thanks for the vote of confidence. Btw meant to say mistaken *vegan ideology

    #1437085

    Joseph
    Participant

    MDG, you completely misunderstood the Rov’s comment if you came away with that impression.

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