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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table


The Well

"Abba, where did Yaakov Avinu meet his wife, Rachel?"

"By the well."

"And where did Eliezer meet Rivkah Imeinu; Yitzchak's wife?"

"By the well."

"And where did Moshe Rabbeinu meet his wife?"

"By the well."

"Well, well, well. They all met by the well. What's so special about the well?" "Excellent question, Esti. The Malbim zt"l has a beautiful explanation that shows you how deep the well really is." "Abba, you are so poetic." "Our sages relate a story about a well. An elderly sage asked Rebbe Yehoshua how to bring a well from the field into the city. He answered, "Bind it with ropes made of bran, and bring it in." "That is a strange question and answer, Abba. It needs explanation." "Yes, Esti. All of the good that Hashem bestows on this world is called "beer mayim chaim" (the well of living waters). He is The Source of all good, just as water is the source of all life. When the Jewish people are in their homeland in the Land of Israel, the parable relates that the well is in the city. When we are in exile and the Shechina (Divine Presence) is in exile with us, then the well is in the field. When the elderly sage asked about bringing the well into the city, he was really asking about ending the exile and bringing the Jews back to the Holy Land." "That is a question that we all want to know the answer to, Abba." "Bind the well with ropes made of bran, and bring it in." "Abba, you can't make ropes from bran. It does not stick together." "Exactly, Esti. The golus (exile) is due to sinas chinam (hatred for an unjustified reason). The Jewish people in this state are compared to bran, which cannot stick together. We do not love each other enough to stick together." "What can we do to correct that, Abba?" "The verse continues saying that three flocks of sheep drank from the well. The sheep are the Jewish people, whose whole existence is from Hashem's goodness. There is only one problem. There was a big stone on the well, which could only be moved by all of the shepherds together. The big stone is compared to the yetzer hora (evil inclination) and the sins he causes, which block us from receiving Hashem's bounty. When all of the shepherds gathered together they removed the stone and opened the well. So too, when all of the Jewish people gather together, we can open the well." "But Abba, the shepherds returned the stone to the well after they watered their sheep." "You are very smart, Esti. We have returned to golus many times, even after we have done tshuva. However, Rachel then came to the well with her sheep. Yaakov then took the stone off the well by himself. In Yaakov's merit the final redemption will come, when Rachel comes to the well with her holy sheep, the flocks of Jewish people who thirst for Hashem's blessings."

Kinderlach . . .

We have mentioned the importance of unity many times. It is the key to the coming of Moshiach. Be as nice as you can be to as many people as possible. Now we learn about another important point. We have to thirst for the end to this golus. In the 15th blessing of the daily prayers, (Es tzemach Dovid avdecha) we say that we wait for Hashem's redemption all of the day. When you are saying these words, think about all of the pain and suffering, poverty, sickness, and death in this world. All of the tension and fighting between people. The geulah (redemption) will bring an end to all of this. Think of how you are waiting every minute, for Hashem to reveal Himself. Speedily in our days.

True Love

"Yaakov worked seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him a few days because of his love for her" (Bereshis 29:20). This seems a bit strange. When a person loves someone and really desires them, every minute of separation seems like years. Yaakov's love for Rachel made years seem like minutes. How could this be? Many meforshim ask this question. The Malbim zt"l explains what made Yaakov's love for Rachel so special. Yaakov realized that Rachel was a tzadekes, whose true value was more than precious gems. Seven years of work was a very small price to pay for such a life partner. It was like a few days in his eyes, compared to what he was receiving in return. Contrast this with the shallow love of desire. The person really loves only himself, and just wants to satisfy himself. He cannot wait. Therefore, every day seems like a year. This is not the love of our holy forefathers. This is not the love upon which the Jewish people were built. Ours is a much deeper, more meaningful, and more lasting love.

Kinderlach . . .

We all want to marry a wonderful spouse, and love them dearly. The question is what makes a wonderful spouse. Someone who has Yiras Shomayim (fear of Hashem), good middos (character traits), Torah knowledge, and a commitment to the right values is indeed a treasure. They will make a good marriage partner. May you merit to marry a truly good spouse, and build a Bayis Neeman b'Yisrael (Home faithful to Jewish values).

Kinder Torah Copyright 2001 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman

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