One day a man was driving his ford and it broke on the side of the road. The man knew a lot about cars and decided to try to fix it himself. He tried many things, but each time he went to crank the engine it would not start. He was a bit stubborn, so he did not call for help and continued working alone. He tried everything but nothing worked. A few minutes later a car pulled up next to him. Out stepped an old man who stood and watched him for a few minutes. The old man looked at him and said, “Son do you see this part? Just twist it and your good to go.”
The man thought to himself, “there is no way this man knows more about this car than me.”
Anyway he gave it a try and got in the car and sure enough… the car started! He was surprised and asked the old man, how did you know what to do? The old man smiled and said, “My name is Henry Ford. I invented your car, and I know everything about it.”
When we think our lives are breaking down, we should not think we know how to fix everything on our own, and are not in need of help. We must always remember that only Hashem knows how to fix our lives because He created us and He loves us so much.
During the three weeks we mourn the fact that our national “car” has broken down. The Beis Hamikdash was our medium in this world connecting us to Hashem. Now that we live with its void, we must look to the manufacturer for the manual on how to precede.
This world is home to a constant battle between good and evil. The pasuk tells us that Yaakov Avinu and Eisav quarreled in their mother’s womb, and this battle has been going on ever since. Rav Yeruchem Levovitz, the Mirrer Mashgiach, said that in the end of days the power of evil would have tremendous capability.
One example of this is anti-Semitism, which has been increasing recently. The Mirrer Mashgiach says that anti-Semitism is one of the manifestations of the hatred that evil has for good. We recently celebrated Shavuos when Klal Yisrael received the Torah on Har Sinai. Chazal tell us that Har Sinai was called Sinai because from there, “sinah –hatred” went out to the world. This is the sinah of evil towards good.
How can we combat the forces of evil in this world? Rashi in Bereishis 30:25 tells us that when Yosef was born, Yaakov felt confident enough to leave Lavan’s house and confront Eisav. Rashi explains that this is because the house of Yaakov is compared to a fire and Eisav to straw. However, a fire needs flames, otherwise it cannot travel. Yosef represents flames. Therefore when he was born, Yaakov felt confident that he could now encounter Eisav.
The Gemara in Kiddushin 30b says that Hashem created a yetzer hara, and He created the Torah as its antidote. The fire of Torah can burn the straw house that is the illusions of this world. The Ramchal writes in Derech Eitz Chaim that Torah is unlike any other discipline. Other studies are simply the pursuit of knowledge. Learning Torah, on the other hand, actually spiritually uplifts a person. He continues and explains that this is because Torah is not simply compared to fire; the Torah is an actual fire. He explains that this is because Torah is light, just as fire is light, and when a person learns Torah it enters his heart and lights it up and lifts it to spiritual heights, and leaves a tremendous impression on one’s heart.
In order for Torah to ignite a flame there is one prerequisite: the one learning must have yiras Shamayim. At Har Sinai Klal Yisrael became fearful of Hashem and that ignited their flames of Torah. The Ramban in the beginning of Parshas Terumah says that the flames of this fire were continuously fueled via the Mishkan, and then later via the Beis Hamikdash. The Gemara in Bava Basra 21a says that when one would come to the Beis Hamikdash he would be inspired with tremendous yiras Shamayim. One was able to feel Hashem with his senses.
How can we preserve this fire today when there is hardly a remembrance of the Beis Hamikdash? The Gemara says that since the churban, Hashem has no place, except for the four amos of halachah. After the churban, Hashem has put more potential into the Torah. It was this that enabled Klal Yisrael to endure this long galus.
May we be zoche to ignite the fire within ourselves and bring back the long awaited third Beis Hamikdash, amen.