by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Have you ever heard a rabbi say, “You have to accept upon yourself the yoke of Torah”? Apparently, this rabbi agrees with those who say that a Torah life is very hard. The truth is that life without the Torah is the life that is too hard, and when you bring the Torah into your life, it makes life much, much easier.
The yoke attaches the plow to the animal. Comparing the Torah to a yoke is a metaphor showing us that we should use the Torah to pull the plow of life.
Even before the yoke was invented the animal had to pull the plow. People had to eat. But, without the yoke, the animal was attached to the plow with only a harness. It had to pull that heavy plow with its head and neck muscles. What a tremendous burden that was!
Then, some wise farmer came up with the idea to put a yoke around the animal’s shoulders. This allows the animal to pull the plow with its big shoulder muscles instead of its small neck muscles. What a wonderful thing the yoke is. The animal loves its yoke. The yoke saves the animal from so much pain and suffering.
In America today: 27% of the non-religious, white, teenage girls, and 50% of the non-religious, black, teenage girls, have one, two, or three different types of venereal diseases.
Fifty percent of the babies born to non-religious girls are born out of wedlock - i.e. mommy is not married, no father at home.
Sixty-five percent of the non-religious marriages end in divorce.
According to one popular talk show host, in 85% of the non-religious marriages, one of the partners, every once in a while, sleeps with someone other than their spouse.
That life, the non-religious life that they live, is the life that is “Too Hard,” not the Torah life.
If you will keep Shabbos (which, in fact, is a pleasure), and your wife will cover her hair (to be modest), if you put on tefillin (to pray), and if the home is kosher (so even your eating is holy), if the kids get a Jewish education (so the Jewish people and values continue), then none of these statistics will apply to you and your family.
Now tell me, which is the life that is too hard?
I have tried both, and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that it is much easier to be a religious Jew than a “free”, do whatever you want, secular Jew. It is hard, depressing, and empty to live the “American dream”, no matter which country you dream it in. In fact, that dream turns out to be a needless nightmare.
There are always going to be problems in life, no matter what you do. If you focus on the problems, you are going to be miserable. There are also always beautiful things going on in life, and if you focus on them, you will be happy. It’s your call.