When I was kid, we tended not to travel during the winter holidays because of my dad’s job. As a psychiatrist, he knew the holidays were a time when loneliness often led people to feelings of severe depression.
He needed to be there for them because loneliness is so painful. We feel cut off from others. At its worst, we can feel cut off from ourselves.
But God created us for connection. “All real life”, Martin Buber said, “is meeting”.
That does not mean we need to have a million friends. Rather, it means we become our best selves when we relate in love with others.
In the Torah, the first time the phrase “not good” appears is in Genesis 2:18. God says it is “not good” for Adam to be alone. God then creates Eve as an ezer k’negdo, a partner and helpmate.
I imagine God feels the same concern today. Loneliness is an epidemic in our society. Technology has made us more connected and pushed us further apart…at the same time.
The answer is not to find more Facebook friends or Twitter followers.
Rather, it is to do something for someone else. Kindness binds us to one another.
That’s part of the beauty of our Jewish community. It moves us beyond ourselves. It links us to God… and to one another.
We get by with a little help from our friends.
– Rabbi Evan Moffic