I recall struggling to understand exactly how Jews had the ability to affect one another. How could it be that if a Jew learns somewhere in New York, someone in Australia lights Shabbat candles? The idea never made any sense to me.
And then it occured to me that we are like interlocking gears. The toy gear set pictured above is similar to my favorite toy as a child. I spent hours and hours arranging the gears upon my yellow board, turning one of them in order to watch all the others turn.
The Jewish people are like interlocking gears. Indirectly, when one of our gears turns, the rest are connected, and turn as well.
Of course, this is not limited to the Jewish people. People, on a whole, set off chain reactions, as was recently depicted in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in its taxi-meets-ballerina scene. But I was simply struck by how apt an analogy the interlocking gears toy is.