Friday, November 9, 2007

Tunnels and this parasha


In this week's parasha, wells play a key role, as they did last week. This week, in Toldot,
Gen. 26
12 And Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him, 13 and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. 14 He had possessions of flocks and herds, and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. 15 (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) 16 And Abim'elech said to Isaac, "Go away from us; for you are much mightier than we." 17 So Isaac departed from there, and encamped in the valley of Gerar and dwelt there. 18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the names which his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of springing water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water is ours." So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also; so he called its name Sitnah. 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and over that they did not quarrel; so he called its name Reho'both, saying, "For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

Usually, in the ancient world, tunnels are dug on an incline leading to the well.
A tunnel is an underground passage. The definition of what constitutes a tunnel is not universally agreed upon. However, in general tunnels are at least twice as long as they are wide. In addition, they should be completely enclosed on all sides, save for the openings at each end.
A tunnel may be for:...for a canal. Some are aqueducts, constructed purely for carrying water — for consumption, for hydroelectric purposes or as sewers — while others carry other services such as telecommunications cables. There are even tunnels designed as wildlife crossings for European badgers and other endangered species. Some secret tunnels have also been made as a method of entrance or escape from an area, such as the Cu Chi Tunnels or the tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip to Egypt.

Not only to tunnels/wellls play a major role in the parasha, but in the news last week.

Sometimes they get filled up and need to be redug as in the parasha. Water=Torah (Iisaiah 55).
-Sometimes new wells need to be dug-modefrnized Judaism.

-Sometimes tunnels have been hidden for centuries are discovered anew, and we find they solve ancient mysteries.(in the news: Newly Discovered Tunnel May Once Have Carried Dead Sea Scrolls -Forward Newly Discovered Tunnel May Once Have Carried Dead Sea Scrolls -Forward

Norman Golb | Wed. Oct 24, 2007
Accounts released last month of a newly discovered Jerusalem tunnel state that the passage was the very one used by those fleeing Jerusalem during the siege of 70 C.E., as described by Josephus. However, Josephus identifies not one tunnel but an elaborate network of them. That said, this most recent discovery, and others like it, have served to support Josephus’s underlying version of events.

- We commemmorate Kristallnacht this night: Sometimes tunnels offer safety for those in fear of tyranny. (shepherding them through a tunnel under the backyard and into the woods whenever the Gestapo pounded on the door-
NYT-Johtje Vos, a Dutch woman who with her husband hid three dozen Jews in their home during World War II, shepherding them through a tunnel under the backyard and into the woods whenever the Gestapo pounded on the door, died on Oct. 10 in Saugerties, N.Y. She was 97, and had lived in Woodstock from 1951 until a year ago.

We honor our US Veterans this weekend. They built tunnels, trenches to protect them and help win the war.

-Sometimes tunnels are used for horrible purposes (LAST WEEK ISRAEL discovered and destroyed 7 tunnels )

-mystical meaning tunnel : deep passage ways of the pysche, only by going throigh them can you find new life and new light. Yeah though I walk through the valley of death

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

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