Bereishis 26:28. And they said, “We have seen that the Lord was with you; so we said: Let there now be an oath between us, between ourselves and you, and let us form a covenant with you.
Once again Abimelech makes a covenant this time with Yitzhak. The first time was with Avraham.
Bereishis 21:32. And they formed a covenant in Beer-sheba, and Abimelech and Phicol his general arose, and they returned to the land of the Philistines.
The events of the world they are living in are interconnected. Abimelech sees how prosperous Yitzhak was and his father before him. He recognizes that Hashem is with him. Abimelech is the master of all he surveys in the material world but he also wants to make sure that Yitzhak does not become his enemy since even all his material wealth is no match for Hashem.
Yitzhak has been going around digging wells just like his father Avraham. These are the wells from which the divine wisdom is being drawn. Abimelech fears this wisdom and therefore treats Yitzhak with benevolence. The Zohar has this to say…
Zohar Toldos 102 Then he said “Go from us; for you are much mightier than we” (Beresheet 26:16). Rabbi Elazar said to him: This is the benevolence Avimelech had for Yitzchak. He took nothing from him and sent him away with his money and possessions. Then, he went after him to make a covenant with him.
In essence Abimelech is saying to Yitzhak that he wants there to be peace between them and that he recognizes the Yitzhak’s learning and respects it.
Every time a well is dug it brings forth something new from the supernal wisdom. It is as if a light suddenly appears in the darkness.
Zohar Toldos 103. And Rabbi Elazar said that Yitzchak did well because he knew the secret of wisdom. He strove and dug a well of water, so as to be properly invigorated by Faith,. Avraham also strove and dug a well of water. Ya’akov found it completed and settled by it. Everybody went after it and strove by it, so as to be strengthened by the true Faith, as is proper.
The Faith is the knowledge of the connection between above and below or as we spoke about last time between the water that rises up in the well and the cistern that contains and acts as a channel for that water. It is the unity of purpose and design making itself known in the spiritual realms of Avraham and Yitzhak as the wells that they dug throughout the area.
Both times (Avraham and Yitzhak) these wells are dug after being with Abimelech and then being sent away by him with gifts. Following this too an altar to Hashem is built. What this symbolizes is that after living and prospering in the material world of Abimelech they go off and dig their wells meaning they enter into a period of contemplation wherein finding water (spiritual sustenance or the supernal water) they then built their altar of recognition. This altar of recognition is the physical representation of the connection between above and below.
On more thing. Both times when Avraham and Yitzhak end up with Abimelech there has been a famine in the land. Also there was a famine when Avraham sojourned with Pharaoh. The famine represents a spiritual lack that must be replenished if the people are to survive.
The lesson is that when there is a spiritual lack it is time find a well to dig and stay with it as Yitzhak did who ‘strove’ as did Avraham. This represents our Torah study and our efforts to connect above even in the most difficult of times. B”H
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