Parsha Bo outlines the eighth, ninth, and tenth plagues inflicted on the Egyptians for Pharaoh’s choice not to free the Israelites. The Torah writes “They[the locusts] covered the face of all the land until it was black, and they consumed all the plants on the ground and all the fruit on the trees that the hail had left behind. Nothing green was left on any tree or plant in all the land of Egypt'' (Exodus 10:15). The ninth and tenth plagues followed, six days of darkness and the death of Egyptian male firstborns. The plagues should not be viewed as acts of evil or hatred, but rather compassion toward the Jewish people. G-d had shown care for the Israelites and therefore brought the ten plagues on the Egyptians. This pushed Pharaoh’s limit and eventually led to the Jews being able to leave Egypt. Without these acts of compassion from G-d, we might still be enslaved in Egypt. This means not celebrating Passover with our families every year or having the opportunity to be a part of an international network of Jewish teens, like BBYO.
Hate can be found anywhere from the comment section of an Instagram post to being heard straight out of a person's mouth. In previous years, we have seen increased acts of hate, especially against the Jewish population. There were over 600 acts of hatred against Jews in 2020 alone. While we may not be able to inflict plagues upon those who have harmed people we care about as G-d can, it is still essential to cherish the people in our life. So when given the chance, tell your loved one that you love them, tell your friends how much you appreciate them, or reach out to a new prospect in your chapter or region. Sign up for your chapter’s next event, run for board, or find other ways to be involved and show your care for those around you. As we head into the second month of this year, it is crucial to exhibit compassion and stand strong with our peers. Each new day brings new opportunities to show compassion and reach out to new people.
Now that 2023 has begun, how can you show your compassion? How can you reach out to new people? How can you help others? 2023 is a new open door; don’t forget to fight with compassion as you navigate each day.
Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.
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.
Learn more about communities in AJT! This is the Arayot teen club in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
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