As many of you know, Max and I made the journey to Boston in January so that Zohara could be seen by a specialized surgeon to repair her very rare congenital heart defect. Thank God, the surgery was a success. There are many lessons from this trip that I will carry with me throughout my life. I studied this week’s Torah portion, Yitro, through my new perspective. I took a deep exhale, and I returned to the text that reminds us all that it’s okay to not only take help when it is offered, but to ask for it as well.
As the portion tells us, Moses was busy trying to manage the Israelites, and Jethro could tell Moses was overwhelmed—so much so that he basically told Moses that he would burn-out if he continued to lead in this way — doing everything on his own. Moses couldn’t be everything to everybody. Jethro reminded Moses, “the task is too heavy, you cannot do it alone.” (Ex. 18:18)
I know I am not the only person going through something tough right now. We all have, are currently, or will go through tough times in our lives. Jethro advises us, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Each of us is like Moses, responsible for some aspect of our familial circle. If the burden of responsibility feels too great, that doesn’t mean that we should drop it, it means we should ask for help. We should be kind to ourselves, to heed Jethro’s warning, that we cannot conquer difficulties alone, the task is too heavy. The help that Moses requests is quite specific. He needs people to help, he gives them specific jobs, and he was a better person (and leader) for it!
As I move into this Shabbat, I send out immense gratitude to all of you. I know I speak for Max, Zohara, and myself when I say that we so appreciate everyone keeping us in your prayers as we went through this scary time. We could not have gone through this alone. The task would have been too heavy, and even in a global pandemic, you have helped us to feel so cared for (and well fed!). We are beyond grateful to our Temple Emanu-El family, thank you.