Insights and discourses on the Chumash.
By Rabbi Mordechai Gifter
Mesorah Publications, Ltd.
This is the teaching regarding a man who will die in a tent: anything that enters the tent and anything that is in the tent shall be impure for seven days (Numbers 18:14).
We often convince ourselves of our ability to remain unaffected by negative influences, thinking that we can avoid their effects should we come into contact with them. However, we must awake up to the reality that we are convincing ourselves of a fallacy. Our posuk shows that all it takes is a contaminated atmosphere devoid of any living influences to affect man. One can have the strongest intention of remaining unaffected, but if he sets foot into the tent he becomes impure. He need not enter for more than a second to be affected and becomes impure for seven days.
Not only must we take steps to distance ourselves from people of negative influence, but even from negative environments, because even if we try not to be affected, we are indeed affected and thus infected by them.