Shabbat Sukkot: Put the Load Right On Me
Exodus 33:14

וַיֹּאמַ֑ר פָּנַ֥י יֵלֵ֖כוּ וַהֲנִחֹ֥תִי לָֽךְ׃

“And God said, I will go in the lead and will lighten your burden.”

Being a human being is hard. Sure, there are good days. Still, we are guaranteed to experience pain, grief, and disappointment. We cannot prevent these from occurring, but we have a remedy to ease the burden: When God leads, our loads are lighter. 

It sounds trite, but we really can let God lead. When we get to a restaurant and look at the menu, instead of letting our appetites be the first factor in our decision, we can let the values of kashrut guide us. When waking up in the morning we can say our prayers of gratitude before we have our cereal. When the evening comes, we can say the shema before turning on Netflix. On a Saturday afternoon, we can rest at home and enjoy some quiet before jumping back into emails. God leads when we put God first.

The benefit to this is a sense of stability that carries us through the toughest times, when it feels like the rug is pulled out from under us. When all feels like it has been turned upside down, there are the mitzvot to ground us. There is kashrut. There is prayer. There is Shabbat. There are the holidays. When God leads, we find solid ground to help us carry our load. I know I’d much rather carry a burden on concrete than in the sand.