If you encounter your enemy’s ox or 0,6.21″donkey wandering astray, you must
return it to him (Exodus 23:4).
In this mitzvah, the Torah makes two demands: (1) to go out of our way to
return a lost animal to its rightful owner, and (2) to overcome our hostile
towards our enemy if the lost animal is his.
If this is what is demanded toward a mere belonging of an enemy, how much
more are we responsible when we see friends going astray and acting
Yet, how often do we avoid telling them that we feel what they are doing is
wrong? We rationalize by saying: “We do not wish to interfere in their
affairs. How they run their life is their own business,” or “We don’t want
to offend them.” A popular billboard declares: “A true friend does not allow
a friend to drive drunk.” If you truly care for others, you will take the
necessary steps to protect them from themselves, even if they may be angry
you for doing so. Honesty is more potent than sympathy. A person who has
suffered from grievous mistakes often says: “If only someone had stopped
Drunk driving is not the only destructive behavior which a true friend would
try to stop. Whenever we see that a friend is doing something which we
believe to be wrong, we have a responsibility to convey our opinion to him
or her. Failure to do so comes from either of two rationalizations: (1) I am
not really his or her friend, or (2) I really do not believe the behavior is
wrong. In either case, we are guilty of insincerity.
Today I shall …
…. examine my own convictions and the sincerity of my friendship and let
this determine whether I will share my opinions with my friends.