Shabbat immediately 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 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.
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 amongst you.”
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
Because Sunday is Rosh Chodesh, we read a special Haftarah,
Machar Chodesh. The Haftarah begins "you will be remembered
because your place is empty." Both remembered and empty come
from the same Hebrew word, "Pakad". This alludes to the concept
of wells: whats seems to be missing is preparation for a more
intense presence. This relates to Rosh Chodesh, when the moon
reappears and grows with new strength after disappearing and
alludes to the rebirth of the Jewish people after tragic
weakening. The conclusion of the Haftarah is the disappearance
of David as a prelude to his monarchy.
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 in memory of Yisrael Ben Avraham, Sol
Nickels. May his soul be bound in the bond of eternal life with
project of Chabad of Great Neck
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