The Torah instructs the Jews to give tithes from the produce of the field and then it states: וְאָכַלְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְקֹוָק אֱלֹקיךָ …לְמַעַן תִּלְמַד לְיִרְאָה אֶת יְקֹוָק אֱלֹקֶיךָ כָּל הַיָּמִים: “You shall eat before Hashem your G-d…so that you shall learn to fear Hashem your G-d all the days.” (Deut. 14,23)
Rabbi Simcha Bunim asked, what is the connection between the two parts? How does eating “before Hashem” lead to “learn to fear Hashem”? He answers that when you sit down to eat with friends you should first see with whom you will be sitting. You should eat only with people with whom it can lead to fear Hashem.
Obviously, what he is saying is that one should associate only with people from whom you can learn good things and with whom you can carry out the beliefs that you yourself have. Too often people get involved with friends and acquaintances who could lead them astray.
This is especially important for children who spend much time with friends. When making friends you should ask yourself, “will my parents approve of them?”
The Torah tells us that we should choose wisely when we decide to sit down to eat in the company of others.