Continuing his instructions to the Jewish people about laws they must observe when they enter Eretz Yisrael, in the parshah of Re’eih, Moshe teaches about the law of ma’aseir — tithing. One of the tithes was known as ma’aseir sheini — the second tithe. After giving terumah — the Kohen’s portion — and giving the Levi a tithe from the harvested crop, the owner must separate the second tithe. It was taken in the first, second, fourth and fifth years of the seven-year Shemittah cycle.

This ma’aseir was to be brought to Jerusalem. The Torah, however, says in the event that “ki yirbeh mincha haderech ki lo tochal se’eito, ki yirchak mimecha hamakom” — “I f the road will be too long for you, so that you cannot carry it, because the place that G‑d your G‑d will choose to place His Name there is far from you [then you would exchange it for money and bring the money there (14:24-25).

The way Moshe expresses himself contains a difficulty. Since it says, “Ki yirbeh mimcha haderech” — “If the road will be too long for you,” the words, “ki yirchak mimcha hamakom” — “because the place...is far from you” are a redundancy?

The Dubner Maggid explains the pasuk, “But you did not call out to Me, O Yaakov, for you grew weary of Me, O Israel” (Isaiah 43:22) with the following parable: Someone once sent a messenger to pick up a package. Afterwards, the messenger refused the payment offered, claiming that it was not sufficient for carrying the heavy bundle. In amazement the sender said, “If the package tired you, obviously you were not carrying my package. My package was very small and contained valuable gems.” Similarly, the prophet is saying to the Jewish people, “If you grew weary and became tired doing My mitzvotobviously you did not call out to Me, O Yaakov, i.e. they were not done for My sake — the sake of Heaven — because My mitzvot are a delight and not a burden.”

Our pasuk, too, is telling the Jews that, “ki yirbeh mimcha haderech ki lo tuchal se’eito” — if one considers a Jew’s life of Torah and Mitzvot an arduous journey and a burden difficult to carry —the problem is “ki yirchak mimcha hamakom” — there is a great distance between you and “Hamakom”Hashem (Who is considered “Mekomo shel olam — “the Place of the world” — i.e. He contains the world, rather than the world containing Him, see Bereishit Rabbah 68:9). Those who realize that Torah and mitzvot are valuable gems find it delightful to live according to Hashem’s Will.

My dear Bar Mitzvah, the Torah Hashem gave us is not, G‑d forbid, a burden. It was custom tailored for each and every Jew to be able to live according to it during his or her entire life.

Let me tell you something that will give you an insight about mitzvot. We know that within a few hours of his creation, Adam sinned. Some question why is it necessary to reveal that Adam violated Hashem’s command?

The Rebbe answered the following: There are people who claim that 613 mitzvot are too many. If the number were reduced, it would be easier for them to be Torah observant. On the day of creation Adam had only one mitzvah, which he violated. This teaches us that, regardless of how many mitzvot a person has to observe, he must be aware of the Yeitzer Hara, who will always endeavor to find a way to trap him into sinning. Hashem did not overburden us with His mitzvot. He gave us 613 knowing that this is the number a Jew is capable of handling.

I once heard an interesting parable from the prominent Chabad Chassid Rabbi Shlomo Aaron Kazarnovsky regarding mitzvot.

Two people, each carrying a sack weighing 100 pounds, were climbing a mountain. One was extremely happy, the other very sad. A passerby asked each one if he could add to his sack. The happy one said, “of course,” and the other one replied, “oh no!” It turned out that the happy one was carrying valuable gems, and the sad one was carrying a sack full of rocks.

Every Jew is obliged to “climb the mountain” through performing Torah and mitzvot. When a person considers Torah and mitzvot a sack of gems, he “carries” it happily, and his Yeitzer Hara cannot deter him. If he views Torah and mitzvot as a difficult burden, he moans all the way and his Yeitzer Hara can easily influence him.

Hopefully, you will view mitzvot as gems and do as many as you possibly are able.