Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yehi Ratzon

May it be your will, L-rd, my G-d, and G-d of my fathers, to protect me today and every day from insolent men and from impudence: from a wicked man, from an evil friend, from an evil neighbor and from an evil occurrence, from death, from bad judgement, a bad litigant, both Jewish and non Jewish. - From The Morning Prayers


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on "evil friend"? Is that a friendship gone sour? Or someone who turned out to be not what he seemed?

July 27, 2010 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Good question Miriam, thanks.

I wrote this early this morninmg, decided to try to be righteous and think about davening before davening rather than focusing elsewhere. So I decided to write out this tefilah - one of my favorites. I used the siddur thst was most handy here in the beach house I'm staying in - The TTehilat Hashem Siddur.

I didn't give it that much thought, but now that I'm considering it I wonder if evil is the right word. I think bad friend may be a better translation of chaver rah.

In any case, your question applies - what kind of friend are we praying to be spared from?

Your choices are specific. I think of it in a broad way that includes your examples: We urge G-d to save us from being connected with people who are bad for us.

July 27, 2010 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger kishke said...

Evil friend = a friend who will be a bad influence.

July 27, 2010 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...


July 27, 2010 at 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes sense. Got me thinking about different kinds of friendships -- friends who are cozy, warm blankets... -- vs. friends who push your buttons and your limits (but you love them anyway).

July 29, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

It's a fascinating topic to ponder - different kinds of friends and friendships.

Who is really there for us? Loyal? Accepting? Loving? Who do we have common interests with? Shared history? What place is there for the childhood friend with whom we've lost touch? How about new friends later in life? Community based friends? How much does proximity and seeing one another matter? How much to expect? How much should we let go when friends have been needy, selfish, wronged us? How about the appreciation we owe to friends who get it right so often? Can we expect people to go deeper for us than they go for themselves? Why do we sometimes expect the impossible from friends? They say sometimes that friends are as close as brothers or sisters, but is it maybe the reverse - that friendships run deeper than sibling relationships? Should the saying be the reverse to describe the rare case when siblings are as close as friends? Is there a family bond that can never be matched by friendships despite all? And what about Naomi? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Foner_Gyllenhaal) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_of_Chair)

July 29, 2010 at 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I followed the links .. Running On Empty is a very good film. I found it very moving when I first saw it, about 20 years ago.

July 30, 2010 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

My brother (hslabw) and I loved that Electric Company skit when we were kids - I was excited to learn who Naomi was. I never saw Running On Empty, I think it got mixed reviews (I've been into movie reviews since I was about ten). The song by that title played a major role in the theme music of my adolescence.

July 30, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

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