Monday, January 22, 2007

My Diamond-Studded Mirror

(Picture courtesy of

After relating a conversation that I had with another man in shul on Shabbos, my wife alerted me to the fact that it seemed that my friendship with this person was centered around our shared dislike of a certain thing. She further pointed out that a friendship based upon shared negative opinions was certainly not a healthy friendship and that I might want to reevaluate how I proceeded in the future.

Hearing the wisdom in her words, I immediately acknowledged the validity of her observation, and plan to act on her advice. Rabbi Lazer Brody compares a wife to a diamond-studded mirror that reflects the condition of ones neshoma.

I am not so foolhearted as to ignore this.


At January 22, 2007 at 9:33:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is your common dislike? Perhaps it is evaluation of it, rather than a general statement, that suggested your wife to comment as she did. Seems to me, for one, that a friendship based on disgust for injustice and dishonesty would be pretty healthy. If instead it is something trivial, surely it cant be the sole basis for a healthy friendship. But so is the case for other positive but irrelevant things you like or have in common. Ever met someone who later became a close friend thanks to a hobby you don't even really care too much for?

At January 22, 2007 at 11:27:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Perhaps the point is to make sure we are focusing on the positive. Cynicism is easy and contagious.

At January 22, 2007 at 11:32:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment by "Anonymous" made me reflect on the fact that your dislike of a certain negative aspect could be "flipped" and restated as esteem for the opposite quality. You may abhor dishonesty, but that is another way of saying that you greatly value honesty. You may be annoyed by the man who carries on a conversation while you are focused on davening, but that is another way of saying that you appreciate it when other people don't distract you from concentrating on your own davening. In other words, your negative feelings aren't misguided, they're appropriate if you can see them as positive values.

At January 22, 2007 at 12:22:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Alice: Bingo.

At January 22, 2007 at 12:54:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Anonymous & Shoshana (Bershad): I would rather not get into a discussion on what exactly was the object of the mutual dislike but I thought that you both had insightful comments.

At January 22, 2007 at 1:16:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Avakesh: Agreed. Your comment goes along with this

At January 28, 2007 at 11:02:00 PM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Your wife is smart!
Without knowing the particulars I can only suggest that a l'chaim and d'var Torah often changes any topic of discussion and ones' mood! :)


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