Keep far from a bad neighbor;
Do not associate with the wicked;
And do not despair about affliction.
—Nittai of Arbel
Discussion Guide [1:7].
Parents know that falling in with ‘bad company’ is a great danger to adolescent children. But youths
passionately desire the power to choose their own friends.
If you are a teen, how do you resist the pressure from peers to do wrong?
Do you keep away from the teens whose risky behavoir might get you into trouble, or are you attracted to them?
If you are a parent, what do you think you can and should do to see that your children have companions who are a good influence?
Leaders, whether in business or in politics, have moral weaknesses, as do we all. This raises the question of at what point we separate
ourselves from the leader or the organization. [It is interesting that the Talmud says that one sign of a false prophet is his
committing adultery with the wives of his followers.]
What signs do you think indicate that a person’s character is so flawed that you should not associate yourself with him or her?
We all have reflected on the issue of the suffering of the innocent, and whether it is compatible with sincere religious belief.
What does love of God mean to you, and do you think it conflicts with the suffering of the innocent and of the righteous?
How do you reconcile the two?