Under The Influence

Watch: You simply need a pair of salt water sandals for your toddler. When you walked into the grocery, the Sushi called your name. You had to buy a tray. With WhatsApp’s privacy policy, switching to Telegram is a no-brainer. Are these conclusions our own?

Without friends sharing their lives, would sushi hold the same appeal?
Would we jump to Telegram?
Would saltwater sandals be the only choice?
We often make decisions fueled by the inner demand to fit in. 
Are we able to remain immune to the influences of society around us?

In the Torah portion of Lech Lecha, we are told about the wealth of  Lot, Avraham’s nephew. “Lot, who accompanied Avram also had sheep, cattle and tents.” The Talmud points out that in an earlier verse, we were already introduced to Lot and told of his travels with Avraham. It seems superfluous to repeat here that Lot accompanied Avraham. 

Why does the Torah stress Lot’s relationship with Avram again? 

These words highlight that Lot’s wealth was a result of his connection with Avraham. It is natural to be influenced by the friends and acquaintances we surround ourselves with. By fraternizing with a righteous person, Lot received the blessing of riches. 

We may mistakenly assume temporary acquaintances don’t influence us. Lot’s experience proves that even those who we travel with temporarily can rub off on us. 

We may not be immune to the impact that our environment has on us. But we can choose the environment that we place ourselves and our children in. Select wisely, before you are under the influence. 

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