Brachot 32

I recently had use of a rental car which had an indicator on the dashboard that lit up when any of the tyres had low pressure. As a driver of an older car I found this impressive as I’m used to looking round my car and checking the tyre level every once in a while and before embarking on a long journey. Yet quite often, even when I think that the tyre is close to its optimum pressure, a quick check reveals that it is actually very low.

According to experts, driving with even one low pressure tire is bad for the gas mileage and can be dangerous, and clearly driving when all four tyres are low on air is even more dangerous.

I mention this in response to today’s daf (Brachot 32b) which informs us that ‘four things require chizuk (strengthening): Torah, the performance of good deeds, prayer, and derech eretz (which is understood to refer to our occupation)’ and having pondered this teaching, I came to realise that each of these four things are like tyres that help us in lifes journey.

Like tyres, there are times when one or more of Torah, good deeds, prayer and derech eretz need some more air. Over time I’ve met some people, like the rental car, who intuitively know when they are low on pressure. However, there are others who, like my actual car, actually need to walk around, explore and investigate their level for each of these four things.

Yet whichever way the pressure is checked it is clear that even if one of these is low it is problematic, whereas when we pump them up, each of these four things can help us travel more smoothly in our life journey.