This second special haftorah for the Three Weeks (read with Parshat Massei, or Matot-Massei) is taken from the second chapter of Jeremiah.

Reading it, you can’t help but feel G‑d’s hurt and pain from our having forsaken him. “What wrong did your forefathers find in Me, that they distanced themselves from Me, and went after futility . . . ?” And so it continues, until the end, where it brings verses from a later chapter that have a positive note.

The most hurt is felt in the verses: “Heavens be astonished by this . . . for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the source of living waters, in order to dig for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Isn’t forsaking G‑d the worst possible thing? Once you go there, it’s over. Why go any further? What is the idea of digging broken cisterns that is even worse and more hurtful than forsaking G‑d? Finally, what positive lesson can we take from this?

G‑d loves us and wants a relationship with us. A married couple is intrinsically one because they share one neshamah (soul). So, too, we each have a holy neshamah, which is actually a part of G‑d, and that makes us one with Him. G‑d gives himself to us by giving us his essence, “the source of living waters”—the Torah.

After He opened Himself to us, what did we do? First, we forsook Him, and then we did something even more hurtful—we started digging for other waters.

This is the theme throughout the whole haftorah. After G‑d took concrete actions to prove that he is there for us—He took us out of Egypt, He took care of our every need in the desert, He brought us to and gave us the Holy Land, He showed us daily miracles in the Holy Temple—not only did we forsake Him, we put our efforts into idol worship, which is futile, like broken cisterns that don’t hold water. Even if you bring your own water and pour it in to them, you’ll lose that, too. These false gods have no truth, and no ability to help you. What is worse, they ruin your ability to recognize what is really true.

In a sense, this is worse than forsaking G‑d. When one just forsakes, it is bad, but it does not ruining one’s ability to see real truth. One day, when that individual searches, he will be able to recognize truth for what it is.

Today, idolatry is not our issue. Rather, it is when we put other knowledge before Torah knowledge. During our 3,000 years as a nation, the Torah (G‑d's knowledge) has been proven over and over again to be true. Yet many give up Torah and pursue other insight, other “knowledges.” They may be enjoyable and necessary, but they are not a replacement for Torah.

Torah, G‑d’s essence, is the source of living waters. It is not only truth, but it adds life. When G‑d is the One you trust and His Torah is your guide, you are on the true path. All other subjects are just that, subjects, and their validity is measured by your Torah perspective.

The lesson here is to do the opposite of what Hashem’s complaint is. We need to learn more Torah and deepen our understanding of G‑d by taking our study to a deeper level, strengthening our essential intrinsic bond with G‑d. By each of us adding in Torah study, whether in quality or quantity, and by making it central to our lives, we reverse the effects of our nation’s failures. We reverse the desolation of the Three Weeks, the destruction of our Holy Temple, and reveal and experience the nature of our bond with G‑d.

May we experience all this soon, with the coming of Moshiach.