Answer: Exertion is whatever is above my human abilities. I cannot help another and complete his work, but I can set an example for him so that it will be easier for him to exert himself.
So I don’t steal his work, but rather help him. The more we help one another by setting an example so that it will be easier for a friend to exert himself even more, the more efficiently we will advance.
With this, we exchange the corporeal exertion with a spiritual exertion! Then the corporeal work seems very difficult and the spiritual work seems very easy because you add the force of the group to it. The result is that you have to move a load of a hundred tons and you move it, but you have the aid of a million people pushing the load with you.
You don’t have to feel the weight of the load that is 100 tons. These 100 tons are necessary only so that through them you will attain connection with a million people.
Therefore, there is no need for senseless sufferings; all we have to do is to understand why we suffer.
If you feel difficulty, pain, rejection, and sorrow in a certain place, it means that it isn’t the right exertion. As it says: “Thou hast not called upon Me, O Jacob.” If with great effort and sweat you carry the load that was given to you by the Creator, it means that you are not exerting yourself correctly, and this burden belongs to someone else and not the Creator.
The pleasure from work is knowing for Whom we are exerting ourselves.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/15/12, Shamati #117