How long G‑d refrained from avenging the wicked...

"And Abimelech commanded all his people, saying, 'He that touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death'". (Gen. 26:11) Come and see!! How long G‑d refrained from avenging the wicked, for as a result of the good Abimelech did with the first patriarchs [Abraham and Isaac], the children of Israel did not rule over the Philistines until generations later [during the time of King David]. Abimelech did well to act properly toward Isaac, as he said to Abraham, "Now my land is before you: dwell where it pleases you". (Gen. 20:15) [Isaac was included in this, and this counted as merit that later stood for Abimelech and his descendants.]

Rabbi Yehuda said: Woe to the wicked whose goodness is not complete. Come and see! Efron first said [to Abraham], "My lord, hear me: the field I give you, and the cave that is in it". (Gen. 23:11) Later he said, "four hundred shekels" (Ibid. 23:14) and then, "and Abraham weighed to Efron...current money with the merchant". (Ibid. 23: 16) Here too, it is written at first "Behold, my land is before you." Then he said "Go from us; for you are much mightier than we". (Ibid. 26:16) Rabbi Elazar said to [Rabbi Yehuda]: This is the goodness that Abimelech did for Isaac. He took nothing from him and sent him away with his money and possessions. Then, he went after him to make a covenant with him.

Isaac knew the secret of wisdom.

And Rabbi Elazar said that Isaac did well [in making a covenant with Abimelech so he would not stop him from digging wells that were connected to a great secret that the Shechinah is called a "well"] for Isaac knew the secret of wisdom. He strove and dug a well of water (the secret of the Shechinah] so as to be properly strengthen the faith [to rectify the Shechinah in gevura of Zeir Anpin] Abraham also strove and dug a well of water [to rectify chesed]. Jacob found it completed and sat by it. [Jacob found them already prepared; since he represented tiferet, it was his job to unite the two in the secret of unification.] All [of the forefathers] went after it [the Shechinah] and strove by it, so as to strengthen the complete faith, as is proper.

And nowadays, the children of Israel strengthen [faith] by the secrets of the commandments of the Torah. Everyday a man is enveloped by the commandment of the tzitzit as he also is by the tefilin he puts on his head and arm. This is as it should be, for they are the supernal secret [of rectifying the Shechinah] for G‑d dwells with the man who is crowned by tefilin and clothed with tzitzit. All is in the secret of the highest faith.

Therefore, whoever does not wear tzitzit and is not crowned by tefilin daily, appears as if faith does not dwell with him. He is deprived of fear of his Master and his prayer is not proper prayer. For this reason, the fathers strengthened the supreme faith, since complete faith dwells within the supernal well.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

It all depends on faith.

Faith. It all depends on faith. Not the "blind faith" bombasted by the self-righteous. Rather, the Faith of Inner Knowledge. Faith is simple. It stands for the most "simple" of the emanations, that of malchut, Nobility. Our ancestors' faith was of the highest supreme quality. "The righteous live by their faith" is the one-sentence summary of how to live in this world. We demonstrate our faith by surrendering our will to G‑d. We do mitzvahs first and foremost because we were commanded, and then we achieve a connection higher than we can imagine. For the Divine Will represents the beginning of All, and the most Supreme of Supreme. To nullify our own egos, to realign ourselves with Holiness, the Sky = Heaven is the limit to what we can achieve, the daily gifts that a life of connection can bring forth.

What does the above mean to YOU? And why is the text being revealed to you right NOW?!

[Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries]