In this week's Torah portion, Jacob is about to die and wants to bless his 11 sons. After he gives them each their very own unique blessing, he also decides to bless Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Menasseh. After Jacob’s death, all of his children, along with Joseph’s sons, bury him at the cave of Machpelah. Jacob's Children, who begin the 12 tribes of Israel, feel ashamed of their actions toward Joseph. They offer themselves up as Joseph’s slaves, but Joseph doesn’t accept their guilt offering because he understands the brothers’ role in G-d’s divine plan.
In BBYO, teens come up with great ideas and program plans that they believe have potential, but sometimes a program falls through and isn’t as successful as they hoped. It is helpful to remember how Joseph acted towards his family. Rather than assigning blame, accept events as part of a divine plan. Just because one program or shabbat service didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, doesn’t mean everything will fail. You have to take your failures and learn from them by adjusting future programs and services. This way, whatever didn’t work will be changed for the next time around.
After Joseph rejected his brothers’ offer, they proceeded to live together in Egypt as one family. This is a great example of life presenting a challenge, where you might be connected with people whose values you disagree with. However, you need to learn to work together towards a common goal. Joseph and his family literally almost killed each other, but they were still able to live with one another after all of the mayhem and hardships that Joseph's family put him through. If he can do that, you can work through minor challenges too.
At the end of this Parsha, Joseph dies and his last words are, “If God will remember you again one day, then you shall bring my bones up from this place.” Even after all the family drama and tension, Joseph still trusts his brothers. In BBYO we need to be able to trust the people we work with. Even though you might not get along with every single person in your chapter, you can still work alongside each other and make a difference in the world.
Noam Yaari and Milton Mosk IV, Lonestar Region Sh'lichim
Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.
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