As 2020 is coming to a close, it seems the Festival of Lights could not come at a better time. This Shabbat, teens from over 200 chapters and communities will gather in virtual and hybrid settings with one goal in mind: to light the world with kindness. Our Global Shabbat celebration lines up with the beginning of Hanukkah, and it’s no coincidence.
This week’s Parsha, Vayeshev, opens up with the story of Joseph and his tenuous relationship with his family. The Torah tells us, “These are the children of Jacob, Joseph.” Jacob had 11 other children, yet for some reason only Joseph is specifically labeled as Jacob’s son.” Why is he the one that is called Jacob’s son and not the others?
The verse (Obadiah 1:18) tells us, “The House of Jacob shall be fire, and the House of Joseph a flame…” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all spread the light of kindness around the world, yet of all Jacob’s children it was only Joseph who continued this practice and took on the responsibility of being the light of kindness in the next generation. That is why he was the one chosen to oversee the distribution of food during the global drought and hunger that plagued the world at that time. He was the flame that ensured that the light of kindness would still illuminate the world.
As we celebrate Shabbat with our sibling Alephs and BBGs, our Hanukkah celebration begins with the intention to spread our own light, just as Jacob and Joseph did so long ago.
Joseph was the flame that ensured that the light of kindness would illuminate the world, and now, as Jewish people and members of the B’nai Brith Girls and the Aleph Zadik Aleph, it is upon us to find our own inner flames and light the world with kindness.
Many of us remain socially distant or isolated, meaning it’s on us to find the light within us as Hanukkah continues. We hope you can all find ways to spread the light of kindness on this Global Shabbat and Hanukkah.
Kelly and Daniel
From the current Grand Aleph Shaliach and International Sh'licha.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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