Click here to read The "Esavs" and the "Yaacovs" of today - Rebbetzin Chana Bracha's commentary on Haftorat Toldot
Parasha Meditation Toldot
Click here for a printable versionIn this week’s parasha Yitzchak re-digs the ancestral wells in search of water.
ספר בראשית פרק כו
יח) וַיָּשָׁב יִצְחָק וַיַּחְפֹּר אֶת בְּאֵרֹת הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר חָפְרוּ בִּימֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיו וַיְסַתְּמוּם פְּלִשְׁתִּים אַחֲרֵי מוֹת אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקְרָא לָהֶן שֵׁמוֹת כַּשֵּׁמֹת אֲשֶׁר קָרָא לָהֶן אָבִיו
“Yitzchak dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Avraham his father; for the Pelishtim had stopped them up after the death of Avraham. And he called the names after the names by which his father had called them (Bereishit 26:18).
The spiritual work of Yitzchak was to dig wells. The purpose of this work is to reveal the living waters which exists under the ground, and to bring it up. It is not the purpose to make waters flow into the wells from another source; but only to reveal the living waters which is already found within the wells themselves. For in truth, these wells retain by themselves the living waters, but they are covered up with dirt, pebbles and mud. When one removes these blockages, the living water is revealed. This work teaches us about Yitzchak’s spiritual work – To remove all the veils of the physical world, and transform it into a vessel for Divinity – to raise it up from below to above. Like the living waters themselves which rise up from below.
יט) וַיַּחְפְּרוּ עַבְדֵי יִצְחָק בַּנָּחַל וַיִּמְצְאוּ שָׁם בְּאֵר מַיִם חַיִּים: (כ) וַיָּרִיבוּ רֹעֵי גְרָר עִם רֹעֵי יִצְחָק לֵאמֹר לָנוּ הַמָּיִם וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הַבְּאֵר עֵשֶׂק כִּי הִתְעַשְּׂקוּ עִמּוֹ: (כא) וַיַּחְפְּרוּ בְּאֵר אַחֶרֶת וַיָּרִיבוּ גַּם עָלֶיהָ וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמָהּ שִׂטְנָה: (כב) וַיַּעְתֵּק מִשָּׁם וַיַּחְפֹּר בְּאֵר אַחֶרֶת וְלֹא רָבוּ עָלֶיהָ וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמָהּ רְחֹבוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי עַתָּה הִרְחִיב הַשֵם לָנוּ וּפָרִינוּ בָאָרֶץ“Yitzchak's servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdsmen of Gerar did strive with Yitzchak's herdsmen, saying, ‘the water is ours’: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they dug another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitna. He removed from there, and dug another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rechovot; and he said, for now Hashem has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land” (Bereishit 26:19-22).
Yitzchak had to deal with the negative forces which tried to prevent his holy work of digging the wells. Although the herdsmen of Avimelech chased Yitzchak’s herdsmen away and shut up the wells, he was not discouraged but continued to dig the wells until he reached “Rechovot” –
“For now the Hashem has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” Now, he was finally successful in separating and raising the sparks from their shells in order to live in perfect peace in the Holy Land.
Yitzchak was going through contention and conflict in order to dig the wells of Abraham – his spiritual heritage. Likewise, we are going through much turmoil and many challenges in order to reconnect with our source. We must dig deeply through dirt, pebbles and mud, and remove all of the blockages that block us from returning to the well of our mothers and fathers – “the well of living waters.” The way to our own source is paved with difficulties, but we cannot just take the easy way out and dig new wells, because only the wells of Avraham will reveal the true “living waters” for us. This is why it is so important to choose only a Mitzvah-observant spiritual healer and teacher of Jewish meditation – someone who drinks from the wells of Avraham – rather than from some other wells from “the other side,” which may possibly bring healing. However, healing from impure wells, not from the well of holiness will not elevate the Jewish Neshama (soul).
In the work of digging wells, we relearn something which was always part of our Neshama – The truth, which has been taught to us even before we were born, but buried deeply within our being. The well buried within us, is concealed by many layers of blockages. It could be covered up by secular upbringing, the western culture and our own inclination to separate ourselves from G-d.
There are spiritual blocks such as negative energy, lack of emunah (faith) and lack of tefilah (prayer). Emotional blocks include fear, trauma, guilt and anger, whereas physical blocks could be caused by pain, injury, shock and even lack of certain vitamins. In Emunahealing and meditation we can dig through the dirt, pebbles and mud of all of these blockages in order to reconnect with Hashem’s light within us reflected in “the well of living waters.”
Sit comfortable in your chair, close your eyes and take deep breaths several times. Breathe deeply and feel completely relaxed in all of the limbs of the body. After a minute or two of relaxing breathing, imagine the word בְּאֵר. Inhale in as you visualize בְּ, exhale as you visualize אֵר. Repeat this four times.
Now imagine that you inhale the living waters into your head, and exhale all the blocks of dirt, pebbles and mud from your head. Repeat this several times allowing the cleansing waters to enter your forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, chin, cheeks and the back of your head, as you inhale, while the dirt, pebbles and mud is washed away from all these parts of your head with your exhale. Imagine how you wash away negative energy, lack of emunah (faith) and lack of tefilah (prayer). Visualize how the well-water opens your spiritual energy fields and recharges your head with emunah, unity and clarity.
Allow the waters to cascade down your shoulders and arms and then focus on inhaling living waters to your heart and exhaling all the dirt, pebbles and mud of your fears, pains, angers, traumas and childhood injuries from your heart. Visualize how the well-water opens your emotional energy fields and recharges your heart with love acceptance and humility. Allow the waters to cleanse the right chamber, then the left chamber of your heart, and all of its blood-vessels. Allow the well-water to enter your bloodstream and purify it.
Now visualize your liver on your right side below your ribcage. Imagine the well-water entering your liver and purifying it the toxins of your injuries, shocks and unhealthy eating. Visualize how the well-water opens your physical energy fields and recharges your liver with renewed energy, commitment to refining your lifestyle.
Allow the well of the living waters to rush through your entire being, and remove all the blocks that block you from being in touch with Hashem within. Repeat once again imagining the word בְּאֵר. Inhale in as you visualize בְּ, exhale as you visualize אֵר. Repeat this four additional times. Now just let your breath to flow naturally as you allow yourself to just be. Feel how cleansed you are now from your spiritual, emotional and physical blocks. Now you can feel Hashem’s light emanating your entire being. Take a few concluding breaths as you experience the presence of Hashem within you – your own “well of living waters.”
 Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson (The last Lubawitzcher Rabbi), commentary on the Torah, Parashat Vayera.