The Final Well

Leave a comment


As we read the portion of Toldot this Shabbat, allow me to quote a passage in its entirety:

So Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar and settled there. 18Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham; for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20the herders of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herders, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also; so he called it Sitnah. 22He moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he called it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”   Gen 26:17-22

One cannot read  this passage without remarking on the remarkable confluence of text and time.  The land of the Philistines is, in part modern day Gaza, and once again the men of Isaac and the men of Gaza are locked in conflict, with the predictable, horrific results.   But the text concludes on a hopeful note.  There comes a time when the quarrel ended, and the final well is named Rehoboth, meaning  “wide, roomy places”.  Perhaps the day will come when there will be room enough for all-when the unrelenting hatred towards the Jewish people will cease, the Gazan leadership will cease to fire their rockets, and there will be, for Arabs and Jews, Rehoboth.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s