Friday, November 25, 2011

Toldot - The wellspring of spaciousness

Parshat Toledot Gen 26: 17-22: “And Isaac departed, and encamped in the valley of Gera and dwelled there.  And Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham; and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.  And Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of living water.  And the herdsmen of Gerar strove with Isaac’s herdsman, saying ‘the water is ours.’  And he called the name of the well Esek; because they contended with him.  And they dug another well, and they strove for that also.  And he called the name of it Sitnah.  And he removed from there, and dug another well; and for that they strove not.  And he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said: ‘For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.’      

Isaac called the first well – Esek – signifying an objective conflict between Isaac and the Philistines.  He called the second well – Sitnah – the anger and propensity for conflict that lies within.  He called the third well – Rehoboth – spaciousness, for once Issac became aware of the struggle within, he was able to find the means within himself for resolving his outer conflict with the Philistines.

May we find the spaciousness within to become aware of our inner conflicts, allowing new solutions to arise.   

(thanks to Rabbi Alan Lew Z’el)

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