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August 23, 2016 3:08 pm

UK Chief Rabbi Corresponds With 11-Year-Old Australian Girl About Meaning of Friendship; Quotes King Solomon

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Photo: Kinloss.

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Photo: Kinloss.

The UK’s chief rabbi on Tuesday posted on Twitter an email correspondence with a young Australian girl who had written to ask what “friendship” means to him.

Moved by 11-year-old Malia’s question, which she said was part of a school “Personal Interest Project,” United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis lauded the girl for choosing “such a beautiful and inspiring topic.”

He then proceeded to answer her query by quoting King Solomon. “Just as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend,” he wrote. “I think what King Solomon meant was that a friend is someone who has a positive impact on you. Friends support and encourage you. They make you strong when you might otherwise feel weak. They make you happy when you might otherwise feel down. They protect, empower and inspire you.”

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“In other words,” he added, “your friends are the people who help you to be the best person that you can be. And of course, in return, you do the same for them.”

Rabbi Mirvis concluded by wishing Malia that she “be blessed…with many wonderful friends” to help her achieve her dreams. He also said that those who have chosen to be Malia’s friends are “extremely lucky.”

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  • Yoel Nitzarim

    It is gratifying that Chief Rabbi Mirvis took the time to respond to this eleven-year-old girl’s question about friendship. Distance and age should not preclude discussion on this all-important topic because it is friendship that probably cements human relationships more than any other factor. Friendship does often take the sting out of making mistakes, for a friend allows for one’s peccadilloes without making an undue issue about them. Friends are an uplifting, transcendent force in one’s life, just as the rabbi contended. Thank you, Algemeiner, for publishing such an important article for public consumption.

  • Jay Lavine

    A friend is someone you consider as such without any consideration given as to what that person can do for you.

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