Where do we go from here? Even in a world without a pandemic, teens often begin new journeys of self-exploration and looking towards their future. Whether it’s the military, college, or the workforce on their minds, teens around the world are faced with this question of “where do we go from here?”. Although it is a difficult question to answer, we are held accountable to stand up and make decisions. In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Lech Lecha, Abraham found himself asking this question when beginning his endeavor, deciding where to go and what was next for him and G-d’s people.
Parshat Lech Lecha tells the story of Abraham’s journey to the land of Israel. In the story, G-d speaks to Abraham, commanding him to leave his homeland and settle in the land of Israel. When Abraham finally reaches the land, he does not focus on building a large house for himself and settling; instead, he builds an altar for G-d as an expression of his trust, commitment, and dedication.
As a reward, G-d promises Abraham and Sarah that they will have a son whom they later call “Isaac”. G-d also promises to make Abraham’s name great as he has proven his devotion to G-d and his selflessness. Abraham will be the father of the Israelites and father of the land. All of these rewards stem from the contrast of Abraham and previous individuals in the Torah. In previous stories such as the Tower of Babylon and even the Garden of Eden, humans have displayed selfishness and greed, continuously unable to put others before themselves. In contrast, Abraham refuses to think of himself above others, continuing to journey on in the name of G-d.
Just as Abraham had once embarked on his journey, for many of us this moment in time marks the beginning of ours. Although Abraham knew the journey ahead would be fraught with challenges, he continued forward, leading his family to prosperity. Although G-d may not be appearing to us and asking us to leave our families behind and embark on a monumental journey, we are still responsible and expected to be constantly asking ourselves, “what next?” Often, the answer to this question centers around oneself and not around others. While it is important to think about where to go to college, or what class you want to take next year, it is just as important to take a step back and think about what you will do for others. Next time you ponder what’s next, think of what you will do to grow closer to your family and friends during the pandemic. Often, you don’t have to look years into the future to answer how you will be able to help those around you. So this Shabbat, take some time and reflect on what is next for you, your family, and your community.
GMR’s 18th Regional Shlichim: Blake Finkel and Rachel Krzesinski
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.
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