Toldot/Vayetzei
Toldot/Vayetzei

Toldot/Vayetzei

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Where do you Pray?

By: Rabbi Barak Bar-Chaim

After Sarah’s maidservant (Hagar) conceived, Sarah felt that Hagar was treating her with a lack of respect. Sarah afflicted Hagar and Hagar fled. Hagar came to a wellspring where an angel informed her that, in the future, she will give birth to a son. The angel commanded her to name her future son Yishmael, because Hashem has heard her affliction (suffering). Hagar then names this wellspring Be’er Lechai Roi, which means ‘The well where I saw a living angel’.

We would expect this wellspring to be significant in Yishmael’s life, but, strangely, we find that this location was associated with Yitzchak. The Torah tells us that when Eliezer was bringing Rivka to marry Yitzchak, Yitzchak was coming from this very location (Be’er Lechai Roi). Additionally, the Torah tells us that after Abraham’s death, Yitzchak lived near Be’er Lechai Roi. Yitzchak was born to Sarah and not to Hagar. Why was this place significant for Yitzchak? Why did he choose to live near this location?