logo

Building a Foundation for Our Blessings

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:November 7, 2018

It says in the portion Toldot that Isaac, Abraham's son, dug wells for water; first, in the same places where his father had dug them, which the inhabitants of the land had covered up, then, in two new places. The people of the land, the shepherds of Gerar, fought with Isaac over those two wells, claiming to own the water. Finally, Isaac dug a third well, which there was no argument over. And the kabbalists explain that the secret within the story of the digging of the wells is really the secret of an individual's ability to develop spiritually.

At the core of the teaching of Kabbalah, and of the teachings of the Ari and Rav Ashlag, is a very simple concept: Light is always present in Its complete and entire form. The only limits are whether or not there is a vessel for that Light, and if there is, the size of that vessel – and the greater the vessel, the greater Light that is received by the individual. How do we create a vessel? By experiencing lack. Once we understand that, we come to understand the importance of constantly finding the lack within ourselves. In fact, even a person who does all the right things spiritually but does not feel an almost constant lack is tremendously limited in the amount of Light he can draw… because if there's no vessel, there is no place for the Light to be received.

Therefore, one of the most important parts of our spiritual work must be searching, or digging, for lack; that is what Isaac was doing. It’s not that he went out every day and dug a physical well. Rather, he sat down in the morning and looked within himself to see what, spiritually, he lacked and what he desperately needed the Light of the Creator for.

Kabbalah teaches there are five levels of soul—Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, and Yechida. A person who feels a little bit of lack will build a spiritual structure that allows himself only to receive blessings on the lowest level, Nefesh. A person who digs deeper and takes the time to realize the areas in which he is lacking and where he desperately needs to receive the assistance of the Light to the Creator will receive blessings from the next level up, and so forth. The deeper the digging, the deeper the lack, the higher the structure, the more Light and blessing the person will receive.

This wasn't just one day of work for Isaac; it was constant. He began his day by saying, “I have to discover what I lack within me.” Of course, it's easier to find what we are lacking physically, which is also important, because if we don’t dig the physical well, we won't get the Light to fill it. But if a person doesn't also dig the spiritual well, if he doesn’t look inside and say, “These are the areas within me where I desperately need the Light of the Creator,” then, again, he can do all the spiritual work, but there's no foundation or vessel into which the blessings can come.

As such, when it says Isaac began digging, it means that the first thing he did every day was ask where in his life and spiritual work he desperately needed the Light. Can each of us honestly say that there's something we feel we need the desperate assistance of the Light of the Creator for? If the answer is no, we have to realize that all the Light we could possibly receive each day will be limited. We wake up in the morning, we feel relatively good, and we go ahead and do our spiritual work, thinking that by doing so we’re going to receive blessings and Light. But without the depth of foundation, it’s not possible. Sure, if we feel a little bit of lack, we can draw a little bit of Light that day, but it is limited. Therefore, what the portion Toldot is telling us is that the secret of digging the wells begins with this; this has to literally be the foundation of our spiritual work, every day. We have to dig for the lack.

It says that Isaac got in arguments with the shepherds of Gerar. The word Gerar, in Hebrew, translates as “to be dragged.” What does this mean? We compare ourselves, or are “dragged,” to everybody else. The shepherds of Gerar received their sustenance based on where everybody else was; “I'm better than a lot of people I know, so I’m OK.” So, when it says that the shepherds of Gerar came to fight with Isaac when he was digging his wells, it is talking about that force which is telling him, “Compared to everybody else, you’re OK. Don't worry so much, just do your spiritual work,” trying to convince him he doesn’t need to dig any deeper. That's the fight between Isaac and the shepherds of Gerar, and between our true consciousness, which knows how desperately we need to dig to find a lack so that we can create a vessel into which the Light of the Creator will come, and the consciousness of Gerar, being dragged where everybody else is, in a place with not much feeling of lack. That's the secret behind the argument between Isaac and the people of Gerar.

And this, as we said, needs to be understood as a foundation for our spiritual work. The degree of the digging - and digging means realizing, coming to understand how deeply and strongly we need the Light of the Creator, how desperately we need change in this area or that area - has to be the foundation, because upon that, our entire day, week, and life is based. We need to build the five levels, the spiritual structure. So, the question to ask ourselves each morning is: Am I preparing my vessel to receive today, am I digging for lack? Because when we wake up in the morning and realize how desperately we need the assistance of the Light of the Creator, then we build a vessel for that day into which the Light and blessings we can draw are unlimited.

Recent Comments

The portion Vayetze begins with Jacob being in a very dark place. His brother Esau wants to kill...
It says in the portion Toldot that Isaac, Abraham's son, dug wells for water; first, in the same...
At the start of the portion Chayei Sarah, Sarah, Isaac’s mother, leaves this physical world. Later...
In the beginning of the portion Vayera, we’re told that three angels came to Abraham. Abraham,...
It says in the portion Toldot that Isaac, Abraham's son, dug wells for water; first, in the same...
At the start of the portion Chayei Sarah, Sarah, Isaac’s mother, leaves this physical world. Later...
In the beginning of the portion Vayera, we’re told that three angels came to Abraham. Abraham,...
Rav Ashlag teaches that the true spiritual path, what he calls the Central Column path, is exact...

Ser Como Dios

The book by Michael Berg

Por primera vez en la historia, una oportunidad extraordinaria está a disposición de la humanidad: la oportunidad no sólo de rezar a Dios, obedecer

image

Days of Connection

The book by Michael Berg

The ancient wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that each month of the lunar year holds different opportunities for us to grow and change and, conversely, hol

image

The Secret History Of The Zohar

The book by Michael Berg

What if you were to learn that an amazing body of ancient spiritual wisdom and potential source of Light for the world had been‚ “covered up‚ f

image

The Secret (FARSI)

The book by Michael Berg

The Secret reveals life's essence in its most concise and powerful form. Michael Berg begins by showing you how our everyday understanding of our pur

image

El Secreto

The book by Michael Berg

El Secreto, revela la esencia de la vida de una forma concisa y poderosa. Michael Berg, empieza por mostrarnos que la manera en que entendemos nuestro

image

Secrets Of The Zohar

The book by Michael Berg

Stories and Meditations to Awaken the Heart Michael Berg The Zohar'ssecrets have never been revealed quite as they are here in these pages, which dec

image

Los Secretos del Zóhar: Historias y meditaciones para despertar el corazón

The book by Michael Berg

Por ser el primero en traducir los 23 volúmenes del Zóhar del arameo al inglés, Michael Berg está calificado de manera única para transmitir su

image

Secrets of the Bible

The book by Michael Berg

The Secret of the Bible is a lifelong pursuit and there are many teachings within its veiled text. Bringing forward a fresh and relevant message about

image

El Camino de la Cabala

The book by Michael Berg

Extraiga de la antigua sabidur­a espiritual de la Kabbalah lo que se requiere para lograr cambios positivos en cada rea de su vida. El camino espi

image

What God Meant: Volume 1 Genesis

The book by Michael Berg

In this simple and eloquent compilation of Bible teachings, Kabbalah scholar Michael Berg imparts wisdom from decades of research and sources unique

image

What God Meant, Vol. 2: A Collection of Teachings on Exodus

The book by Michael Berg

In this second book of the What God Meant series Kabbalah scholar Michael Berg imparts wisdom both from decades of research and from sources unique t

image

Well of Life

The book by Michael Berg

Best-selling author and kabbalistic scholar Michael Berg has written this inspirational and useful book designed to help us connect with the weekly e

image

Windows in Time (DVD set)

The book by Michael Berg

A Special five HOLIDAY Companion DVD Series Spanish subtitles available Kabbalistically speaking, holidays are more than simply commemorations of hist

image

New Moon DVD Series with Michael Berg

The book by Michael Berg

Collector’s Edition (includes all 12 months) Every month has distinct opportunities for growth as well as unique pitfalls for getting stuck. At the

image

Zohar - Vol 1-23

The book by Michael Berg

Zohar is a Hebrew word that means splendor. In its simplest form, the Zohar is a commentary on the Bible. Although the wisdom available in its pages i

image

The Way: Using The Wisdom Of Kabbalah

The book by Michael Berg

A national best-seller (The Wall Street Journal, USA Today), The Way delivers a practical and profound insight into the sacred wisdom of Kabbalah. Th

image

Becoming Like God

The book by Michael Berg

For the first time in history, an incredible opportunity is available to humanity: the opportunity not simply to pray to God, obey God, fear God, or r

image

The Secret

The book by Michael Berg

The SecretUnlocking the Source of Joy and Fulfillment Michael Berg spent years studying this ancient once-hidden wisdom before putting the pieces of t

image

type your email address to subscribe

© 2017 Kabbalah Centre International, a Non-Profit Organization   |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use