Michael Jackson is dead He has the most OBaVg52wtTZ.jpgFacebook Friends

 What if G‑d had a facebook page? Would you friend him? How many friends would he have?

 Barack Obama has over 15million facebook fans, but as we all know there are friends and ‘facebook friends’. Friends were the old fashioned way of relating to the small number of people we used to actually know and genuinely care about, but today so many of our friendships are little more than a picture upload, a status update, a comment or a virtual poke.

 And it’s telling that Michael Jackson’s fanpage is the one page with the most friends on facebook. A man with more than 21million friends is not even living.

 And in case you think it’s just facebook, how many times are you relieved to be able to leave a voice message, and how often do we avoid calling someone by sending a text or hiding behind an email.

 The first Friend

 Long ago, way before facebook, the internet and the industrial revolution there was a man named Abraham.

 Abraham alone challenged all of society around him. He stood up against the Philistine’s cruel, heartless, child-sacrificing, idol-worshipping culture and promoted his belief of one G‑d and vision of a just society where people showed flowing love and kindness to each other.

 When the Philistines eventually gave up trying to reform Abraham and made peace with him, the Torah tells us that he goes and plants an ‘Eshel’. Abraham chooses a remote location, next to a busy route, deep in the desert then he builds a hotel and plants an orchard.

 Genuine friendship

 The Torah is not teaching us horticultural skills, nor is it giving advice on building hotels, there is a very deep and powerful message in this simple action. A message that defines the values of Abraham, the very values he sought to teach the world: Genuine friendship, selfless kindness and real care.