In Parshat Vayeilech, Moses is preparing to step back and let Joshua become the leader and take the Israelites into Israel. Moses is aware that he won’t make it into Israel, the place he’s been leading his people to for 40 years. Moses tells Joshua and the people to “be strong and resolute” three times, emphasizing it.
Moses says this because he is aware that Joshua and the Israelites might be worried about this change in leadership and the challenges ahead of them. Moses wants them to know that, although he won’t be there to lead them into the promised land, G-d is always watching over them and guiding them.
The concept of “be strong and resolute” assures us that G-d is always with us, so there is no need to fear obstacles in the future. You can never be sure of what your life will bring you, but the Torah emphasizes that G-d is always with you even if you don’t know. We, as people, often stress about the future, but instead we should trust that G-d will have our backs and lead us through any problems.
Just a few days ago, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the start of the new year. When we start our new year, we should come into it with confidence. I, along with many people, am constantly stressing about obstacles to come. But we shouldn’t ignore or be stressed about the future because the Torah tells us to be strong and resolute, which, in other words, means to stay confident and trust G-d to help us if we ever need it. We should try to not fear our challenges and be ready to take them on because they can always teach us something new.
In the next year, I will try to come into my challenges with confidence and not feel frightened of the obstacles that come. I will also try to learn from those challenges so I can continue to grow as a person. I encourage you to do the same: Be strong and resolute, and have a great new year, where you don’t fear the future.
Naomi Maine is a seventh grader at Krieger Schechter Day School