Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
The "Burden" Heaved Upon A Brand New Teenager
Are the Taryag Mitzvos a burden?  How do we plop them all at once on a thirteen year old adolescent and punish him for disobedience as we do a seasoned veteran?  The last Mishna in Makos says that Hashem gave us so many commandment because He wants to help us.  Wouldn't it have been easier if there were less obligations and restrictions.  Chabakuk (Makos 24a) condensed the Mitzvos down to one, Emunah.  What happened to the rest?

Maybe we can explain with a Mashal.  A person decided to take a trek to a faraway paradise beyond forests, deserts, mountains, and across vast oceans.  He buys a manual detailing the items he will need for the journey to this exotic location.  The list is endless.  He needs months of food supplies, tons of equipment to deal with all the natural elements along the way, and a long list of dos and don't at each point along the way.  He reads it with great trepidation.  How can he manage?  How can he carry the burden?

But there is another way to get there.  Someone built a paved road that goes through normal civilization.  While this road is also very long, it does not need the provisions that the first route requires.  There are places all along the road to buy food.  Equipment is not necessary, and the restrictions are still the same but do not pose any relevant danger since he is not traveling through dangerous terrain.

The Mitzvos are our supplies on the road towards Dveikus B'Hashem.  We could not get there without them.  This is not a burden on thirteen year old, it is his supply kit and lifeline for his journey.  If a person lacks emuna, his life towards dveikus is a difficult path.  Each mitzva is a burden.  They don't make sense, they are not fun, and the minute details are a real pain.  The journey is so difficult that life outside his route looks so much more appealing and we constantly desires to veer astray from the path to live a better life.  We get lost and forget where we are headed and why.  Performing the mitzvos that are vital to us and avoiding the wrong turn at each fork in this wilderness makes our journey impossibly difficult.

If we chooses the path of emuna, the mitzvos will not be a burden.  They will come natural to us along the way and be a pleasure to perform.  The prohibitions of the Torah will not be a temptation to us as we travel along a beautiful path and do not care to veer from the road.

The mitzvos are a Bar Mitzva present from Hashem.  We must take them and run along the path to true soul penetrating and inspiring Avodas Hashem.  If we take the path of emuna our journey will be delightful and our legs light as deer's as we prance joyfully down the road to paradise.