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Wow, now that’s a question loaded with stress and pressure. And yet, in college, I imagine that many of you have that question on your minds often.

Yesterday in synagogues around the world, we read the portion BeShalach which includes the Song of the Sea in Chapter of Exodus. The Israelites were starting at the vast sea, with Pharaoh’s army swiftly approaching. Finally the sea splits. The future of Israelite people is before their eyes. The path to the unknown is there waiting to be taken. Moses and Miriam and the Israelites could have panicked. They could have started filling out their course selections for “wilderness survival 101” or “desert hygiene 201” But the Torah tells us in Chapter 15 that the Israelites did something else. “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to God.” They decided to sing. They decided to do something joyous.

As the Spring semester starts, I am sure that all of you will have big plans to do well. You will hit the book store, stock up on highlighters, and maybe start with to do lists. Surely getting all A’s this semester will help put you on a path towards doing whatever it is you want to do in life. But another element in answering that question of what to do after college is spontaneity. Remember to celebrate that another semester is starting. If you want to emulate the Israelites, go sing karaoke. If you feel driven to write, to read, to make new friends, go for it. Remembering to celebrate this new semester will introduce you to new people, new ideas, new passions, and you never know which one of those new things might drastically affect the rest of your life.

On an unrelated note, my wife Rina and I are thrilled to let all of you know that on January 20th, we welcomed our son into the world. We named him Mark David Bonder. While we are both quite biased, we both think he’s pretty darn cute. We look forward to bringing Mark down to UD for a Shabbat dinner in the future so stay tuned!

May you have a wonderful start to this Spring Semester, full of good solid planning for good grades, and full of celebrations and inspirations that may change your life.


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