Relationships 101

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Classical sources distinguish between love that is dependent on some benefit derived, and love independent of any such benefit. While even marriage is understood to belong to the first category, friendship can earn classification in the second category. Jewish sources offer advice on keeping friendships unpolluted by long-held grudges and subtle (or not-so-subtle) recriminations, by airing disputes in a productive manner. In the early hasidic tradition, friendship attained particular importance, as the followers of each rebbe provided mutual support in both the emotional and the practical realms.

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