Malicious Tongues, Fawning Friends

Malicious Tongues, Fawning Friends

וְהַרְחִיקֵֽנוּ מֵאָדָם רָע וּמֵחָבֵר רָע

Keep us away from malicious tongues  and fawning friends

Many of us, and especially those who have made a commitment to following a spiritual path within community,  are aware of the need for a balanced regimen of love  and reproof  from our companions. Without it, focus becomes blurred, alignments are bent crooked, and self-deception reigns unchecked.

Such love and reproof are not free-form activities, but Torah-sanctioned instructions whose fulfillment is informed by subtle rules, by courtesy and by respect. Rebuke, no matter how precise, is rarely heeded if its source is not trustworthy;  deserved praise that becomes fulsome may sink into flattery, surely one of the more mischievous potions that humanity has ever concocted.

Help us, H’, to keep good company.

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