Vayetzei - Hidden Secrets

The second aliya starts off with the verse:
And he looked, and behold! a well in the field, and behold! Three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because from that well they would water the flocks, and a huge rock was upon the mouth of the well.

 וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה בְאֵר בַּשָּׂדֶה וְהִנֵּה שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה עֶדְרֵי צֹאן רֹבְצִים עָלֶיהָ כִּי מִן הַבְּאֵר הַהִוא יַשְׁקוּ הָעֲדָרִים וְהָאֶבֶן גְּדֹלָה עַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר
Breisheit 29:2

Yaacov's arrival at this well is not happenstance, but is filled with deeper meaning. The commentators take different approaches as to what this verse comes to symbolically communicate.

Quoting the Midrash, the Ramban says that this verse gives us a peak at the future. That Yaacov 'happens upon' a well, guarded by 3 flocks of sheep, and covered by a great stone - is all significant.

  • Well: a metaphor for the Beit HaMikdash (the Temple).
  • 3 flocks of sheep: 3 pilgrimiges to Jerusalem (Succot, Pesach, Shavuot)
  • From that  well: this is (The Beit HaMikdash) that the flocks (pilgrims) should drink from (imbibe the Holy Spirit)
  • Return the rock onto the mouth of the well: this is closing the well (Beit HaMikdash) until the next festival
Another metaphor 
for out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Yeshayahu 2:3
For Torah is compared to water (coming out of the well) as it says in the Gemarah
Sow to yourselves in charity, reap in kindness; again, water [in this connection] signifies ‘the law’ as stated, "Ho! All who thirst, go to water" (Yeshayahu 55:1).
Baba Kama 17A

Kli Yakar
The Kli Yakar also reveals the hidden meanings encoded in this verse.

  • 3 flocks of sheep: 3 [leaders from the Torah] that met their wives at a well - Yitzhak, Yaacov, and Moshe
  • Well: metaphor for women
  • 3 flocks of sheep: 3 partners in creation - Man, Woman, and G-d
  • From that well: the offspring drink all their sustenance from these 3 partners
  • Huge rock was upon the mouth of the well: this is the essence of the modest woman, her true beauty locked away from the world
  • Return the rock onto the mouth of the well: that the inner beauty of the woman is not revealed to everyone (only her husband), and after they are intimate she returns to her modest form (the stone is rolled back)

Rabbeinu Behaye
All of the Avot (Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaacov) encountered episodes with a well.

  • Well: represents the Beit HaMikdash, for that is the structure that will be constructed in the future for their offspring (the Jewish people)
    From out of the metaphorical well comes Torah, for Torah is represented as water.

 וְהִנֵּה שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה עֶדְרֵי צֹאן
The word "שם" (there) seems to be superfluous.
But we get a hint at the significance of this word from Yehezkel.
So I arose and went out to the plain and behold, there the glory of the L-rd was standing, like the glory that I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face.
Yehezkel 3:23

  • 3 flocks of sheep: this represents Am Yisrael - the 3 is the 3 parts of Am Yisrael, Kohen, Levi and Yisrael
  • 3 flocks of sheep: represents the three set times for visiting the Beit HaMikdah (Succot, Pesach, and Shavuot)
כִּי מִן הַבְּאֵר הַהִוא יַשְׁקוּ הָעֲדָרִים וְהָאֶבֶן גְּדֹלָה עַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר

This verse further hints at the name of G-d where we see the YudKayVavkay.

Here we have three of the letters of the name of G-d. This is in the words of the verse dealing with providing drink to the flock, reprentative of the flocks getting spiritual sustenance from G-d.
And where is the last letter?

The word "גְּדֹלָה " comes to represent the enlarged DALET at the of the word ECHAD in the Kryiat Shma, since this DALET is bigger than the rest of the letters. So from the end of this word we take the final letter for constructing the name of G-d.

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