A ba’al teshuva or even someone who is trying to better his ways and do teshuva, should he continue to associate with his non-religious or less religious friends or should he drop them and risk insulting them?
And the answer is that a ba’al teshuva must certainly isolate himself from all the influences that previously affected him. And whether he’s going to insult his friends or not, the first consideration is himself.
Now, if without being affected he’s able to exercise a beneficial influence on his old friends—without the necessity of fraternizing with them—then he should do so because he is more capable of understanding them and handling them than other people are.
But he shouldn’t continue to frequent the old places because he knows already that he was nichshol there, and he should keep away from any possibility of repeating his old errors.
TAPE # 155