Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Friends for Life

How many of you have some friends you've known your entire life?  I have my cousin who lives in Israel and has been my friend forever.  And I have some other cousins with whom I'm still in contact in the states. 

But friends, non-relatives?  I only have some friends from high school, NCSY and Seminars. They are the people I've known the longest. 

An amazing thing is that there are a few of those, whom I met when we were in our teens, who also study in Matan.  And we're in some of the same courses.  That's pretty amazing.  We didn't plan it.  I wasn't even in touch with them until we found ourselves in the same place, studying the same things.

The summer when I was thirteen, my parents bought a house, so we moved very suddenly from Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY, to Great Neck.  When that happened I lost contact with all but one of my old childhood friends.  In Great Neck I made new friends.

Then, when I was in my middle teens I made a major change in my life.  I became religious, a Torah observant Jew.  As my life-style changed, so did my social life, and again I found myself with different friends, except for the one who became religious with me and those who wanted to be active Jews in other ways.  After that I married and made aliyah with my husband.

My children have friends they've known since they were young children.  Today when I went to see my grandkids, my daughter's two best friends from childhood came over with some of their kids.  I'm friends with the elder generations there, too.  As I saw the kids playing together, I was happy to see the fruits of my friendships.  The grandparents of some of the little kids, I've known for forty years, and other grandparents I've known almost thirty years.

May all these friendships continue, G-d willing...

4 comments:

~ Sarah ~ said...

it's nice to have old friends. even if you are in different places for a while, whenever you reconnect there's a shared history which can't be found with newer friends. familiar.

i have friends who i've known since i was 3 and it's always great to see them.

Batya said...

You're very lucky.

Only one of my kids has made a major move, but the rest are still in contact with those they've known as children. I'm glad that they have those life-long friendships.

HS said...

"How many of you have some friends you've known for your entire life"

I think this is a "lifestyle-issue" i.e. urban vs rural, sedentary vs. migrant.

My grandmother used to meet her friend from grade school every week. On the other hand, I moved to different countries when I was 11, 18, 22, 25, and of course each period brought its share of friends, but they were not the same...

So I suppose you live now in a well defined community that does not move around geographically and so it is possible to keep ties over generations, as it used to be, back in its time, in the village...

I think both lifestyles have their advantages and drawbacks.

People used to say about village life that it was too narrow, that they did not like social control, etc, so they moved to the cities.

In the cities, they are free, but might feel lost, miss this cosy bubble around them...

Batya said...

HS, what I find amazing is that friends from my teen and early married years have reappeared in my life. We again have the same interests. I guess we always did.