Vayetzei - Wellsprings of Shabbat

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 שְׁלשָׁה עֶדְרֵי צֹאן רֹבְצִים עָלֶיהָ כִּי מִן הַבְּאֵר הַהִוא יַשְׁקוּ הָעֲדָרִים וְהָאֶבֶן גְּדֹלָה עַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר
Breisheit 29:2

Says the Rebbe from Slonim, we can learn out many insightful ideas for our lives from this scene for in the Torah there is no superfluous statements. Why does the Torah specify that he saw the well in the field?

The Field and the Well
The Rebbe likens the field to Olam Hazeh (This World) for just as a field is the perfect location for growing fruits, so also is This World a materialistic environment. Nevertheless a field can also be filled with sharp thorns, and other obstacles that could hamper one's work in the field. So follows the journey of the soul, hewn on high, and brought down to 'the field' of this lowly world to toil.

To survive in 'the field' of this lowly world, Hashem prepared a well for which we can draw forth inspiration and spiritual sustenance. What is this well that has been readied for our enrichment?

The Well of the Holy Shabbat 
For people who reach their lowest points in life, they can enjoy the great blessings offered by Shabbat. As it says in the verse "from that well they would water the flocks", where 'flocks' comes to include everyone from those at the highest points in life all the way down to those at the lowest, and worst points in their life, that Shabbat comes to feed them with spirituality and holiness. Even the Jew that finds himself at one of the lowest points of despair in their life can be enriched and strengthened from the Holy Shabbat, energizing him with spiritual power to complete his special mission in this world.

As it says in the verse "She makes a cloak and sells it, and she gives a belt to the trafficker. סָדִין עָשְׂתָּה וַתִּמְכֹּר וַחֲגוֹר נָתְנָה לַכְּנַעֲנִי" (Mishlei 31: 24) that is one who is drowning in the ocean can be thrown a lifesaving board and be saved. So also Shabbat is the lifesaving board that can be thrown to those that have fallen to a low, decrepit point (as the verse says a 'Canaani' a cursed nation) and save them.

We see further evidence of Shabbat in this verse. The phrase  "three flocks of sheep lying beside it" reflects the 3 special times of Shabbat - the evening meal, the morning meal, and seudat shlisheet. These 3 times have been established to serve the 3 aspects of the Jewish soul - Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama.The Holy Shabbat is a repair and uplifting time for the soul.

The Mighty Stone
The other aspect referenced in this verse is the stone by the phrase "and a huge rock was upon the mouth of the well" and that this stone represents the Yetzer Harah (the Evil Inclination). How?

We learn in Mesechet Sukkah that the Yetzer Harah has 7 names.
R. ‘Awira or, as some say, R. Joshua b. Levi, made the following exposition: The Evil Inclination has seven names.
The Holy One, blessed be He, called it Evil, as it is said, For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.(Breisheit 8:21)
Moses called it the Uncircumcised, as it is said, Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart. (Devarim 10:16) 
David called it Unclean, as it is said, Create me a clean heart, O L-rd,(Tehilim 51:12) which implies that there is an unclean one.
Shlomo called it the Enemy, as it is said, If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat and if he be thirsty give him water to drink. For thou wilt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the L-rd will reward thee (Mishlei 25:21-22) read not, ‘will reward thee’ but ‘will cause it to be at peace with thee.’
Isaiah called it the Stumbling-Block, as it is said, Cast ye up, Cast ye up, clear the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people.(Isaiah 57:14)
Ezekiel called it Stone, as it is said, And I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekial 36:26)
Joel called it the Hidden One, as it is said, But I will remove far off from you the hidden one.(Joel 2:20)
Sukkah 52B
In contrast to the power of the Holy Shabbat, the Yetzer Harah grows stronger and stands in our way as Shabbat draws closer, sealing off the mind and heart from drawing forth from the rejuvenating spiritual power of Shabbat. As we saw, Shabbat is called a lifesaver, for the as a Jew may stumble and fall throughout the week, Shabbat is an opportunity to get back up. The Yetzer Harah in contrast is driven to prevent the Jew from entering the spiritual oasis of Shabbat and recharging his spiritual connections. For in the great battle of the soul there is nothing more powerful than launching a siege against the soul, trying to cut it off from the essential spiritual sustenance that Shabbat provides.

The solution to this struggle is also embedded in this verse in the phrase "from that well they would water the flocks"  for the power generated by masses of Jews preparing for Shabbat overwhelms the machinations of the Yetzer Harah. This time brings the Jewish people together in unity, allowing them to rise to the higher level of Holy Shabbat.

The Well of Torah
The holy Torah is another well of protection in the midst of hectic world. The Torah also serves as a source of holy sustenance that one can reach into. As we see in Mesechet Sota:
 As for [study of] Torah, whether while one is engaged upon it or not, it protects and rescues.
Sota 21A
As for the Yetzer Harah, we learn that with the creation of the Yetzer Harah, the Torah was created as an antidote to the power of the Yetzer Harah.

The phrase  "three flocks of sheep lying beside it" is reflected in the three-fold nature of the Torah, as we see in Mesechet Shabbat:
Blessed be the Merciful One who gave a three-fold Torah (the Chumash, Prophets and Scriptures) to a three-fold people ( Priests, Levites, and Israelites)  through a third[-born] (Moses, born third after Miriam and Aaron) on the third day (Of their separation from their wives)  in the third month.
Shabbat 82A 
The phrase "a huge rock was upon the mouth of the well" comes to show how when we forget Torah that life is harder, that the Yetzer Harah gathers strength against the Jew who is not involved in learning Torah, planting foreign ideas in his mind.

Likewise the idea comes out of the verse "And all the flocks would gather there, and they would roll the rock off the mouth of the well and water the sheep" (Breisheit 29:3) that Torah is only attained in a group. As we see in Mesechet Brechot:

Make yourselves into groups [kittot] to study the Torah, since the knowledge of the Torah can be acquired only in association with others.
Brechot 63B
Only out of strength in numbers and learning in groups, like in chavruta, chabura, or shiurim does a special power converge, and overwhelm the Yetzer Harah.

The Well of Prayer 
Also in the craziness of daily life, the power of prayer provides an avenue for connecting with Hashem. This is indicated by the phrase in our verse "three flocks of sheep" corresponding to the three times of daily prayer, Shacharit, Mincha and Maariv. These are special moments in our day for taking time out and investing further in an intimate connection with Hashem.

The phrase "a huge rock was upon the mouth of the well" comes to show how the Yetzer Harah disturbs and clouds our prayer time, drawing us away from those special moments of intimacy for connecting with Hashem.

How do we combat this force that weakens our prayer? The answer is in the verse "And all the flocks would gather there," that through the power of prayer in the community (in a minyan) can we have the power to "roll the rock off the mouth of the well" (overcome the Yetzer Harah).

Torah, Prayer and the Power of Shabbat
Ultimately all of these ideas - Torah and Prayer - are realized in conjunction with the power of the Holy Shabbat.  Where throughout the week we may be too busy with daily tasks, the Holy Shabbat that is the time provided for Torah study. Likewise, Shabbat is a time of prayer, for Shabbat is a time for intimately connecting to Hashem, like the essential quality of prayer. Shabbat is the well that includes all of the things for serving Hashem, for Shabbat serves as that well in the field that feeds all of the flocks - providing spiritual sustenance to Jews in This World.

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