In the late 1800s there was a man in Jerusalem who was fleeing for his life from a non-Jew. He ran to Rabbi Yehoshua Leib ("Maharil") Diskin zt"l, who served as a rabbi in Jerusalem from 1878-1898, and asked what he should do. The rav's advice was to study tractate Middos (the tractate that deals with the middos, dimensions, of the Second Temple). After finding a safe place to sit down, the man studied the five chapters of Middos and was then surprised to hear that the non-Jew had given up the pursuit and gone home. News of what had happened spread through the city and many of the local sages wondered about the source for the Maharil Diskin's secret, but no explanation could be found.
|Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin (wikipedia)|
Many decades later, in 1932, Rabbi Yoel Teitlebaum (the Satmar Rav) zt"l visited Jerusalem and while he was there someone asked if he could explain how the study of tractate Middos can save a person's life. He replied that it is based on the idea mentioned in the Gemara about King David. While fleeing for his life from his father-in-law, King Shaul, David made his way to the city of Ramah where he met Shmuel the Prophet. The two of them spent many hours studying the laws of the Temple and trying to determine the exact location where it should be built (Zevachim 54b). Just as King David studied the Temple and was saved from his pursuers, the same will be true for all time. The reason this works is that the Temple is a physical building with supernatural properties. [Presumably this refers to the miracles that would occur there on a daily basis.] Therefore, someone who needs a miraculous salvation should learn tractate Middos.
|Rabbi Yoel Teitlebaum (wikipedia)|
This post was adapted from an article in Hamodia on June 6, 2018, Features p. 29. Special thanks to my chavrusah Aharon Hanopole for bringing this to my attention.