This week’s parsha is Yitro. The Israelites had left Egypt only a short time ago when Yitro meets up with them. Moshe tells Yitro all that happened in Egypt and then has a feast to celebrate Yitro’s arrival. The next day Yitro proposes a new idea to Moshe. Up until that time, Moshe had been the one and only judge. Whenever anyone committed a crime, got into an argument or just needed help with something, that person would go directly to Moshe. Yitro saw how much this weighed on Moshe. Moshe was constantly bombarded with so many things to answer and ask God about.
I feel that a major lesson of this week’s parsha is the importance of admitting when a job is too big for you. My dad wrote a book called “Ambition Addiction.” Like the title of this book, Moshe had ambition. He wanted to excel and grow himself and his community constantly and rapidly; therefore, he took all this work on, and it was obviously too much. Yitro noticed Moshe’s exhaustion and wanted to help. He explained to Moshe how to divide the power of being a judge by creating a justice system.
I feel that Yitro’s advice to Moshe is still relevant today. Most of us have so much on our plates — we have school, jobs and a family, so the work that we have to do builds up. We should always be willing to say, “This is too much. I can’t handle this.” I think this is a struggle for some people because they might believe that not accepting work and not spending all of their time on it will prohibit them from ever accomplishing anything.
In addition, we should all remember to look out for our friends and family and if we notice that they are working too hard and taking too much on, then we should try to help. It is important for us to remind those we care about that it is sometimes OK to say no, and for us to help them find a solution to share the work.
Lev Shalva is a seventh-grade student at Krieger Schechter Day School.