Dependency of Yeshiva Boy [#14601]

August 19, 2021


There’s a boy who feels a tremendous emotional dependency on one of his friends in yeshiva. Because of this, he is also experiencing problems in his personal holiness, because he fantasizes about how much he “loves” his friend, and he feels actual physical desires towards him. In this case, the “friend” in question doesn’t even know that his “pursuer” is fantasizing about him and having lustful thoughts about him. Would this boy need to work on “cooling off” the friendship? Or does he need to use the love and dependency that he feels towards his friend as a parable for love towards the Creator? Can he use these intense feelings of dependency as a parable of feeling dependent on the Creator? If that is the case, can he continue his “warm” friendship that he has with the friend he is pursuing, and it is just that he would need to daven to Hashem to be saved from feelings of dependency and physical lust that he has for his friend?

There is a letter from Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt”l about such a case and he wrote that the boy should learn b’chavrusa (as a Torah study partner) with his friend, so that their bond becomes spiritual, and with the power of Torah, the situation can be repaired. However, there is a letter from Rav Shach zt”l about such a case where he says that the two boys need to be separated and be put in different yeshivos, and if that doesn’t work, the “pursuer” has to leave the country, so that the other boy isn’t in spiritual danger from him. Perhaps that was a more severe situation, but I am not aware of the details. What is the Rav’s view about this matter?


The more powerful the attachment is, the more it should be cooled off. If the attachment is weaker, one should learn how to connect and disconnect from his friend, in a cycle, back-and-forth.