The corona challenge: Finding at least one friend

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Shalom Sivan, Gal Cohen here, a behavioral therapist from Yerucham. Yesterday a sad picture was posted on the Facebook page of a mothers’ group. One of the mothers had shared the picture with great pain. It was the first semester report card of her daughter where she was asked this question: “In which area do you want to make progress in the next semester?”
and her daughter answered, “In finding at least one friend, because I don’t have any.” How painful. Unfortunately we meet many students who feel this way, and not only students. The coronavirus made the loneliness in the world that much worse.  Whatever was already obvious just became more so.The days of Adar and the holiday of Purim obligate us to look more closely at others. The mitzvot of Purim compel us to consider not only the socially accepted people, but the outcasts, too. To give gifts to the needy means to search out the weak. But a needy person could also be someone who has no friends, who requires some attention, an invitation, a smile. There are among us many needy people who do not need money, but closeness. The mitzvah of mishloach manot — sending baskets of food and drink — is an opportunity to knock on the door of a neighbor or of a classmate with whom we do not have much of a connection. The feeling that others are thinking of them is more satisfying than the most prestigious chocolate that we could put in their basket.

Adar is a month identified with joy, and it turns out that in order to achieve true joy, we are obligated to share it with others. Perhaps these words will reach someone in this girl’s class, and perhaps prevent other girls from feeling this way.”

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