When I told one of the residents that we are finishing Berashit, he said “No, we are just beginning Shmot.” It is an interesting way to look at things, that ends are just beginnings. And yes, I mostly believe that it is true, but sometimes it is difficult to see it that way, at least when one is in the midst of things,and the pain/sadness of saying goodbye, and knowing what you are losing.
Yaakov is about to die so he blesses his children. His children start to find their way in this new country. Yosef helps them acclimate.
I can look at this story in two ways. One is a bit negative. That the entire family goes to Egypt to this new land, for an unseen amount of time- and then we all know what happens next.
When I think about my own life, this makes me a bit afraid. I am going to be leaving Israel in a few months time (it just keeps on getting closer and closer), for an unknown amount of time. Yes, just like the sons of Yaakov they went “till the famine ends”, I’m going to the US “till I finish school”. But what if I end up staying in the US? Am I making a grave mistake? Am I going to be doing something good for myself that will end up making me a slave for me to be liberated again? If that is the case, will I be able to fight back? (I’m still feeling a bit without power to fight)
But then it can be a positve story. Things were not good, they needed to move. I know that in ancient times they were not so interested in learning about other cultures and societies. They weren’t looking for a new adventure or a new way to delvelop themselves. The way that I see this upcoming journey is that. It is a chance to learn and live somewhere new. By moving it will not only give me a chance at experiencing a new culture, but when you go somewhere new you are able to try things that you might not do in your own home. At home people know you and expect things from you, but in a new place you have a chance to do things differently because there are no expectations. There are no conversations about how much you have changed. It is a time for challenge and growth.
Here is to hoping that this end is really just a new beginning, when the time comes. And even if I do end up staying for longer than I expect, may I find a way to get to where I am made to go.