Keep the Old - Thursday, July 6

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 4:40pm -- Rabbi Shalom Lewis

Rabbi Shalom Lewis

On a recent vacation, we were wandering the vastness of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

An incredible tribute to a unique American music style and the talented twangers who sang from high atop "a mountain of love" and deep into "…the Shenandoah Valley". In one hall, there was an exhibit honoring Kenny Rogers (a popular local). On display were an assortment of his tchatchkas, photos and handwritten manuscripts. In one corner was a high-def screen playing a loop of his hits. Some solos and some duets with the country famous. I paused and began to watch, humming along with familiar melodies. The minutes passed and I was enjoying the toe-tapping entertainment.

And then, suddenly, I began to sob uncontrollably. As I watched the selected videos, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton began crooning the song "You can’t make old friends". I was overwhelmed by the simplicity, elegance, and power of these lyrics. They haunted me for days as a stunning, unshakable truth that defines our lives and our loves. We can’t make old friends. Either we have them or we do not. There is no way of retreating in time or accelerating what we have. Friendships born of youth cannot be falsely manufactured decades later.

This week we are out of town at the Jersey Shore ("beach" to the non-Garden Staters) with old friends. We do this annually and spend glorious time reminiscing, laughing, sun bathing, eating and catching up on events in our lives. It is magical time as we find rejuvenation and nostalgic therapy that helps us forget our wrinkles, our thinning pates and the passage of years.  These are precious days of connection and unbreakable bonds.

"You can’t make old friends".





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