Dear Reader,

In order to save on the escalating cost of water, especially when it comes to watering their sprawling lawns, many homeowners here in southern New Jersey install their own wells that attach to their sprinkler systems. The one-time investment of building a well pays off in the long run by saving on the monthly water bill.

And, so, the men from Ted’s Well Services came a few weeks ago with a huge truck to dig a hole deep down in our backyard. Attaching pipes that would reach down into the ground, they started to shovel.

But not everything goes as smoothly as planned, and the well-diggers encountered a problem. Soon after they started to dig in the location that my husband had instructed, they suddenly were stung by a nest of hornets.

Unbeknownst to me, while most species of hornets build nests in trees and shrubs, some build their nests underground. Apparently, hornets had made a nest in this spot underground and when their home was being dismantled, they began attacking. Only hours later, when the nest was safely removed, were the well-diggers able to continue their work.

They dug deeper and deeper. They explained that there is a current of water at about 40 feet underground; however, the water at that level is not pristine but muddied. Only when you dig really deep—all the way down to 70 feet—do you reach the pure water, without any trace of mud or soil.

The water-digging episode in my backyard made me think about our own personal well-digging. Every once in a while, we all need to dig deep down into our own psyches to get back in tune with our inner selves and once again become focused on our deeper, inner motivations.

Sometimes, though, as we dig, we encounter things about ourselves that we don’t like. Close to the surface, there may be a veritable hornet’s nest of emotions, thought processes or attitudes. This newly discovered hornet’s nest looks dangerous, and it may even attack or sting our self-perception that our core is wholly good. In fact, some of the most famous diggers into the human psyche perceived that man’s strongest motivations were not altruistic, but self-serving and narcissistic. To Freud, for example, our actions were motivated largely by the pursuit of pleasure; to Adler, it was power.

But the Baal Shem Tov saw things differently.

It is written, “ ‘For you (the people of Israel) shall be a desirable land,’ says G‑d” (Malachi 3:12). The Baal Shem Tov explained that just as the greatest explorers won’t uncover the limits of the valuable resources placed within the earth, we will never discover the limits of the great treasures that lie buried within a Jew—G‑d’s “desirable land.”

So, don’t let your well-digging stop too soon. Don’t get stuck by the discovery of a hornet’s nest. Don’t even allow yourself to stop further when you reach water that is muddied. Dig down far and deep enough, and you will reach your pure Divine core, and there you will gain access to your very source, where no soil, mud or gravel can ever dirty.

Happy digging!

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW

P.S. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the recent horrific terrorist massacre in Paris. May the day quickly come when mankind learns to live in peace, harmony and divine goodness.