In the Torah reading of this day we are told about the birth of Yitzhak. We then read about his relationship with his brother Ishmael. His mother Sarah saw the bad influence this association had and she demanded of Avraham to send Ishmael away from the household. Avraham refused. Why did he disagree with his wife? Did he not see the evil influence that Ishmael had on Yitzhak?
Avraham certainly understood the difference between his two sons. However, Avraham thought that Yitzhak will eventually have an influence and be able to change Ishmael’s ways. He felt that the piety and righteousness of Yitzhak will be stronger than the evil ways of Ishmael and in the end the good behavior will prevail over the bad.
We read, however, that Hashem agreed with Sarah. He instructed Avraham to hearken to his wife and send Ishmael out of his home. An impressive lesson is to be learned here. A good person should not associate with and evil one. Usually the evil will overpower the good. One should always be on guard against bad influences. One should be careful in choosing his friends and associates. It is easy to come under the influence of the bad.