We hope you enjoy this new, multi-installment virtual Farbrengen on the topic of peer pressure, presented by Chaya Mushka Kievman of Melbourne, Australia!

Part Two, Section One

Transcript of Part Two:

Hi everyone at JGU, and so excited to virtually Farbreng with you.
Last year, I submitted a handwritten writing piece that I needed to give in to my  teacher. I worked for hours, and spent a lot of brainpower on it. The teacher basically threw it back at me and made me type it up, because it wasn’t neat enough. Reflecting about that memory today, I was thinking, “What??!!! How could she trash away like, 120 years ‘worth of effort!?” (Not literally of course, but certainly ages). Although this event isn’t something I would’ve wanted to happen, it had a startling resemblance to an important life lesson for us. Throughout life, people toil, be it for good things or bad. Time passes in a blink of the eye; 120 years of effort passes. People then can either eat the fruits of their labor, or have it trashed away, thrown in their face as if they spent all that effort for nothing. We say in davening “שלא ניגע לריק – We shouldn’t toil for nothing.” We can choose if we want to toil for nothing, or toil for something meaningful. How does peer pressure come in? When everyone is pushing you to do what isn’t right, we can think: Do we want to toil for nothing? Do we want to do chas veshalom (G-d forbid) the wrong thing, be toiling for nothing, wasting our time? Do we want to do something that won’t impact our future, the world, and the relationship we have with Hashem for the better? Do we want to waste our talents, our abilities, our strength, our time, for a bit of ‘incorrect fun?’ Two people graduate from school, building families. One invests into a Torah home; one doesn’t. Which one’s every action is working towards a goal, has a point, is holy and won’t be trashed? It is in your hands; the ‘written piece ‘ is being assigned to you. Are you going to present it neat enough for a ‘good grade’ or not? It’s chodesh Elul.  Hashem is there to help us along the path of teshuva, the path to do what’s right, the path of enough strength to swim against the tide. Get the Heavenly assistance we have available now. Wishing a כתיבה וחתימה טובה לשנה טובה ומתוקה to all.  Show Hashem and the world the strength in you to rise above peer pressure, and in that merit we will get to rise above to the clouds to Yerushalayim with Moshiach now.