Parshat Toldot


In this week’s Torah portion, תולדות (Toldot), יצחק (Isaac) was forced to flee the land of the פלישתים (Philistines) as a result of his prominence and becoming the object of envy by the people. After leaving the established city and settling in a new place, יצחק (Isaac) needed to provide for his family and servants and he therefore instructed his servants to dig multiple wells throughout the area.

In one פסוק (verse) we are told that יצחק’s (Isaac’s) servants were successful in their search for water:

וַיַּחְפְּרוּ עַבְדֵי יִצְחָק בַּנָּחַל וַיִּמְצְאוּ שָׁם בְּאֵר מַיִם חַיִּים—And יצחק’s (Isaac’s) servants dug in the valley, and they found there a well of living waters.

Why does the Torah need to specify that they were able to find water? Why couldn’t we just assume if the lack of water wasn’t mentioned that יצחק (Isaac) and his family dug a well and used it?

The Chofetz Chaim explains that the reason for discussing the wells in depth is to teach us that we should not become discouraged and consequently give up after encountering initial challenges. When the servants of יצחק (Isaac) dug a well that did not yield water, they did not despair, but simply continued to search in a different location. The Chofetz Chaim goes on to say that this lesson is applicable to all spiritual and material matters. If and when you are met with challenges and obstacles, do not give up. Instead, you should persist, and eventually you will be successful.

By: Noah Dobin (10th grade)

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