On the one hand we are commanded to love our fellow man as ourselves… On the other hand, ‘chayecho kodem”(your own life takes precedence) – if there is a question of saving one’s life vs. your friend’s life, we are commanded (it seems) to save ourselves first, if there is no other choice.


I am struggling with this concept, because some of my friends or acquaintances, while are very dear to me and have done a lot for me, are simply very toxic.

I KNOW that it sounds very cold and selfish. But one of those fellows is an extremely negative, bitter, farbissen person. Every single subject he talks about is negative. Any issue, or idea, or dvar Torah etc, he somehow manages to blacken with his negativity. 

In this fellow’s eyes, the glass is ALWAYS EMPTY, (and if there is some water LEFT inside, it will poison you if you drink it!!!)


I know that it is a mitzvah to provide a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, etc. This person has helped me in the past, we have been there for each other for years, but he is simply not a good company…

So my solution is, I listen to his tzoros as much as I’m able, and if I cannot help him in any other way (which I would gladly do, if able), I simply make myself scarce…

This guy has been through a lot, he is an orphan from a young age, and was always scrambling on his own the best he could, but at some point he just… gave up.


He gets buy, but the spark to advance, to better his lot, to make new friends and to improve himself, is gone…


It is heart-breaking, to see an intelligent, talented human being, who is simply unable to believe in humanity anymore:

According to this fellow, all rabbis are crooks only interested in his money (he has none

All women are pain in the tuches and simply not worth the trouble (they are either out to steal you blind or to use you)…

All community is full of greedy bastards, selfish uncaring mamzerim that they are…

All rebbitzins are ostentatious and sanctimonious Bs…

All bizness guys will rob you blind, cheat you and betray you in a worst possible way!!!


I really feel this guys pain, bcuz he had more than average share of bitter herbs in his life, and not just on Passover- all his life!

But while I’d help him in any way I can, I cannot stomach to be in his surroundings for more than five minutes, with all his negativity.

It literally puts me in a terrible downer, from which it takes at least a day to emerge…

So, a note to Hashem: ‘Dear Go-d, please, either help this guy to see some light in his tunnel, or, I cannot continue to be this guys buddy! Next time I’ll cross the street when I see him, and I won’t answer his phone calls either!’


I take this decision very seriously, bcuz in my life I have experienced both good and bad friendships, and I know first hand how painful it is to lose a good friend or to experience a betrayal of someone whom you thought of as your ‘rock’, as someone who ‘has got your back’…

But, dear Gd, I’ll help him, but I just cannot stand to be around him! Please, send me some more positive-minded buddies, who still have some trust in community, in kindness of Your People, in honesty, modesty and virtue of Your Nation!!!


May we all become less bitter, more able to see Your guiding Hand in our everyday life! Amen!

 Hashem, please don’t let me descend in such pit! Please don’t let me become bitter! Please let me see Your goodness, the beauty of Your mitzvos, and of Your Torah!

                                                                                                              Shlomo Zalman ben Chana, Rosh Chodes Nissan 2013                  







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