This week’s parsha, Parshat Vayera, tells a tale we have all come to better understand in the last few months. The parsha begins by introducing Abraham and Sarah, an elederly couple who have never had children. However, one day, Sarah and Abraham are visited by angels who tell them that despite Sarah’s age, the couple will finally be able to have a child of their own. Sarah laughs at the thought that at the age of 90 she would conceive and give birth to a child. However, that is precisely what would occur.
Similarly to Parshat Vayera, we have been on Regional Board for ten months, and in those ten months have seen so much change in our world. We were elected during an online convention, coordinated massive virtual gatherings, and did our best to support the region’s chapter, Sh’lichim, in a time where Covid numbers in Texas were the highest they had been throughout the global pandemic.
When looking at Sarah’s situation through the perspective of modern medicine, the idea that she could have a child at the age of 90 is shocking and completely unfathomable. However, perhaps the message of this miraculous conception is not a story about time or age, but instead, a tale of incredible endurance and inner fortitude. The message is not that she had a child at the age of 90, but rather that she had to wait 90 years until she became a first-time mother and her husband Avraham, had to wait 100 years until he was able to experience the joys of fatherhood.
This struggle of waiting for something we long for is an experience many of us have faced. For example, through 2020 and the majority of 2021, we waited and waited to be reunited with our communities. To think that we are currently on the threshold of a return to in-person programming with so many of our friends, would have been a laughable thought a mere ten months ago. Like Sarah, we would have looked at the medical facts around us and never believed that we would someday soon be able to attend an overnight experience, let alone an entire convention. Yet here we are, and it seems that our long wait was worth it as we can finally be together again with our friends.
While we know the pandemic isn’t over, and that there will be challenges ahead, our faith, along with the faith of the rest of our BBYO community that we would get through these difficult times has helped us throughout the long months of loneliness and lockdowns.
May we all be blessed with happy surprises. May the future bring us beautiful communal moments together filled with only joy and happiness.
Lonestar Shlichim, Abby Siegle and Josh Natelson
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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