“The deeds of our forefathers are a signpost for the children.” The Bible isn’t just out to tell us nice stories. The stories in the Bible are there to serve as an example, as a teaching and education, a sense of direction for all future generations and under all circumstances.
There are many more people and many more events that took place in the lives of the people mentioned in the Bible. However, G-d chose to include only these stories because they are very special and outstanding in that they serve as a lesson for all people.
There were three forefathers to the Jewish People. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Isaac occupied himself primarily with digging wells. Besides the very literal undertaking of digging the ground to, “and he found there a well of living water”, there is something way more spiritual and eternal to this story.
Mysticism which addresses the soul and inner message behind the surface story explains that the job of Isaac with his very forceful energy, the energy of severity, was to eliminate all that covers over the ever quenching wells that lie deep inside the earth.
Since Isaac dedicated that much effort into this end, this characteristic to be unaccepting of how things appear and with optimism to dig for wells, is now found within the DNA of everyone’s soul. Similar to parents who bequeath much of their own characteristics to their children, the same is also regarding our forefathers and the genes we inherit as a result of their conduct.
Every soul is considered “the desirable land” of G-d, and deep down inside there are channels of living waters no matter what the surface shows. Sometimes to the eye the land appears to be covered with all kinds of stones and dry earth, an arid and unfertile land, a situation that appears without hope or any reason for optimism, for growth and/or to be useful.
Isaac as one of our forefathers, instills within us the great lesson that with enough dedication and perseverance we must and we can uncover this inside pure and refreshing well of life. Every single person has, and sometimes it may be deep down inside, but it is there, an untouched pure and uncontaminated well of water.
We must never give up on ourselves and certainly not on others.
Some of the greatest sages compared this natural and essential spark of G-d inside to a diamond covered in dirt. The value is always there; sometimes not even recognized by the owner of the diamond him/herself. Rabbi Shnuer Zalman in his seminal book the Tanya explains that every soul and spark of G-d is literally a piece of G-d within each person.
This knowledge and awareness is very powerful and self-empowering.
No matter how much dirt or impurity accumulated within a person because of bad and wrong choices over a person’s lifetime, it really is all essentially superficial. The good, the happy, the blessed, is still always there and is never lost.
Isaac and his servants came across much difficulty and challenges to dig up those wells and they never gave up. They persevered and succeeded. There is the eternal inner struggle between good and bad. No one has a free and easy pass to life. However, the knowledge that we always remain “connected” no matter what, reinforces our will and determination both regarding ourselves and in our efforts with others, to never give up.
The moment we reach that little spark within, all the darkness becomes eliminated. The little spark ignites the fire of enthusiasm for all that is good in our lives and in the world around us.