20 Jun 2006

[m., pl. “Chaverim”]; a male friend – equivalent to “Chaverah” and “Chaverot” for female friend. The Sages say in “Pirkei Avot,” “Establish a Torah authority for your self and go so far as to purchase a friend,” so important is it to have friends.

Rabbi Yehoshua, one of the great students of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, said that to be and to have a good friend is the most important thing in life, and to be and to have a bad friend is the path most to be avoided.

The classic example of friendship in the Bible is that between Yehonatan, son of Shaul, and David, who would replace Shaul on the throne of Israel. This is considered in Pirkei Avot an example of “love that is not dependent upon anything” (Chapter 5; Mishnah 19).