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Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat follows Rosh Chodesh Kislev and we read the portion
of Toldot. The portion begins with the birth of Yaakov and Esav
and concludes with Yitzchak blessing Yaakov and sending him to
his uncle Lavan, Rivkah’s brother, in order to find a wife.
subject that is frequently mentioned in this week’s portion is
the digging of wells. First the Torah mentions that Yitzchak
redug the wells that his father had dug but had been filled with
earth by the Philistines. Thereafter the Torah relates that his
servants dug three new wells brimming with living waters. Local
shepherds contested two of the wells that the servants dug, but
the third was uncontested, which served as a sign of Hashem’s
blessing for prosperity and security. Whatever the Torah tells
us is a lesson in our service of Hashem. We must therefore seek
to understand the significance of digging wells.
Ramban explains that the three wells represent the three Temples
in Yerushalayim: the Temples of Solomon, of Ezra, and of
Moshiach. The contesting of the first two wells represents the
destruction of the first two Temples, and the third well being
uncontested represents the eternity of the third Temple. We must
seek to understand the significance of the parable of wells to
represent the Holy Temple.
ground and rocks appear to be barren, lacking any sign of life.
By digging deep, we can reveal a well, a source of life. The
deeper one digs, the more and purer water one reveals. Once
uncovered, the source doesn’t need to be replenished. Unlike
rainwater, which must come from the sky, spring water needs only
to be revealed. In service of Hashem, this parallels revealing
the G-dly nature that is within each person and within every
aspect of the world. Interestingly, according to Jewish law
spring water can purify in cases when rain water cannot. Our
hidden good is more powerful than our revealed goodness.
Everything in the world was created by Hashem for a purpose and
therefore is essentially G-dly. Every person possesses a soul
and therefore is essentially good. Sometimes, the goodness and
the G-dliness are hidden beneath a thick and coarse exterior.
Our purpose in the world is to reveal that goodness and that G-dliness.
The deeper we dig, the more good and G-dliness we reveal. By
doing so, we make each individual and the world as a whole a
dwelling place for G-d. This is the central concept of the
construction of the Temple, creating a dwelling place for Hashem
as the Torah says, “Make for Me a Holy place and I will dwell
When we have begun to reveal the goodness and G-dliness in the
world, but not finished the job, there is contention. When we
have finished the job, on the contrary, there will be perfect
consent and peace.
Jewish law, well water is considered purer than rainwater and
has a greater power to purify people and objects that have been
defiled. Spring water is also generally considered better in
quality. The special qualities of spring water are because the
water penetrates and passes through the crevices, rocks and
dirt. This symbolizes overcoming adversity. When one overcomes
adversity, it not only purifies the person, it gives them a
strength to affect the world and bring purity to others.
Baal Shem Tov ascended to the Heavenly chamber of Moshiach and
asked him when he will arrive. Moshiach answered him “when your
wellsprings (The Baal Shem Tov’s teachings) will spread
outward.” The month of Kislev is the month of the revelation of
Chassidut. May it be Hashem’s will that we will immediately
merit the coming of Moshiach.
Dedicated to Mordechai Cohen on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah.
May he be a pride to his parents and a light to his people.
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