This week’s Parsha is the only one that is dedicated to our second patriarch, Isaac, yet to a causal reader of the Torah text he remains largely an enigma. Mostly passive, the only noteworthy episode of Isaac’s life described by the Torah seems to be his obsession with well digging. Then there is his seemingly misguided affection for his older son Esau, who headed FBI’s top 10 most wanted list and could have told ISIS to hold his beer.
Why empower such an evil individual, who appeared to have been corrupted from before birth? And what do wells have to do with any of it, or what do they teach us?
Chassidic masters explain that Isaac saw within Esau a tremendous potential for the good and spiritual. He understood that Esau was a warrior by nature and every worthwhile human endeavor, especially in the realm of good, requires an inner struggle, fight and battle. Who better to send into a battle than a warrior?
Our lives are full of daily inner conflicts and battles, large and small. We need to fight a good fight in order to make good and moral life choices.
However, Isaac pioneered another method of overcoming life’s obstacles — by digging wells. A well reveals previously hidden water. Our inner search for meaning can tap into inherent spiritual powers that are deep within us. If we get in touch with our inner reservoir of good, spiritual and holy, we will definitely overcome any obstacles in our path and make our lives and those of people around us that much better. No better time to do so than Shabbat.
So, will you fight the good fight? Or better yet, can you dig it?
Please join us at Shabbat 400 this Friday night to hear from Izzy Ezagui — Israel’s one-armed warrior, who persevered and overcame tremendous odds in his battle for good!
~ Rabbi Dovid & Elisa Gurevich