Alex - Glencoe, Illinois
Entered on January 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe that the Torah portion Shemot, from the book of Exodus has inspiration, and hope that has inspired Jews for a long time.

While the shepherd Moses was alone tending his flock, a burning bush addressed and spoke to him as God. God, asked him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt because they were being mistreated as slaves there. Moses felt unworthy and asked God to pick someone else to lead the people. He felt he did not have the strength and power to influence the pharaoh to free his people. God got upset when Moses was unsure of his ability to do the job. So God gave Moses mighty powers that Moses would use to intimidate the pharaoh and to convince the Israelites that he was being helped by God, to complete the mission.

After reading this story of the burning bush it reminded me of a movie you may have seen called The Pursuit of Happyness. In the movie there was a character named Chris Gardner, an African American man, played by Will Smith, struggling to make ends meet for his wife and young son. His wife lost confidence in Chris’s ability to support his family so she left him, alone with his son. This was an extremely difficult situation for Chris as he now had to not only find a good job, but he also had to take care of his son. This raised doubts for Chris in his ability to survive such a terrible situation. Through time, Chris drew inspiration from his son and worked extremely hard, found a better job and was able to build a successful life for both himself and his son.

Now, I know you may be saying to yourself that it’s quite a stretch to find similarities between these two stories. But let me try and tell you what I see as the parallels.

• · They both came from civilizations of slavery and prejudice.

• They were common people

• · They both had responsibilities for others. Moses to the Israelites and Chris to his son.

• · Each of them had doubts about their ability to rise and overcome their situation. But just as Moses found inspiration from God through the burning bush, Chris Gardner found his own inspiration from his young son.

• · They both found inspiration to overcome difficult situations and make a difference in other people’s lives. While Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, Chris saved his son from being homeless.

The lesson I have learned is that no matter how difficult we believe life is treating us, or how helpless we may think we are, we all have the ability to find inspiration to make a difference: inspiration from God, from ourselves, or from others to overcome any obstacle. Normal, everyday people can make a big difference in other people’s lives. When we are challenged and doubt ourselves, we can always look for our own “burning bush” to inspire us.