Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Perachya says, "Make for yourself a teacher and acquire for yourself a friend, and judge each person favorably."
Your Values of Our Fathers Navigator
1. What kind of ideal teacher would you make for yourself?
2. What kind of an ideal friend would you like to acquire?
3. Acquisition implies ownership, what do we own in a relationship?
4. What is the difference between making and acquiring?
5. Why are we taught to seek these relationships, shouldn't we just let them happen?
6. Are the teacher and the friend the same person?
Another way to phrase the last question is, "Does a friend necessarily have to be a kind of teacher?" A friend can be a kind of teacher, but the type of friendship mentioned here is of a very specific kind. This is the friend that keeps you honest -- the friend you trust to tell you the truth because you know deeply that this person has your best interests at heart. Would you reveal such secrets to one who could keep a confidence but had nothing to teach, nothing constructive to offer? Perhaps, but at times like this should we not look for wisdom?
Before Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to seek out the friends who can help us do the hard, necessary things that will make us better people for the year to come. As we patch up our relationships and look ahead, we should value our friendships and evaluate where we wish to be with our friends, our colleagues, our employees or employers.