In Parshat Yitro we read about how Yitro, the father in law of Moshe, heard about all of the miracles that Hashem performed for the Jews, specifically splitting the Red Sea and victory in the war against Amalek. He was so enthralled and touched that he even converted and got a circumcision to be part of the G-d’s chosen nation. But the question is obvious. Yitro was from Midian. He was surrounded by idol worshippers! How could one person like Yitro convert to Judaism when everyone around him in his society was doing the wrong thing? How did he even have the realization that it was wrong that led him to this decision?
We learn from here a very important lesson. Just like Yitro overcame the influence of his society, so can we. Yitro chose to build a relationship with Hashem on his own initiative. It is important to realize that each and every one of us have the ability to stand up for what we think is right. If one senses that they’re being pressured by society to do the wrong thing, it is our job to object. Maybe in this way, one person can change the bad influence to a good one. Although one should try to surround themselves with positive influences, it is still possible and encouraged to persevere through the negative. One must use their own senses and wisdom to determine what is right and if it will build or break their connection to G-d. If we are successful in this aspect, then we can achieve this admirable trait from Yitro, who converted to Judaism after years of idolatry influence. Although it’s definitely difficult, it can be done.
Student Studying in Darchei Bina