The following passage is truncated and appears to be not finally edited, but its main purpose appears to be to establish the associations between Isaac's wells and the spellings out of the name Havayah.

There are four wells mentioned in this section of the Torah:

Isaac went away from there and encamped in the Gerar Valley, and settled there. He re-dug the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had plugged up after Abraham's death, and gave them the same names that his father had given them. Isaac's servants then dug in the valley, and found there a well of fresh spring water. The shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's shepherds, saying, "The water is ours." [Isaac] named the well "Eisek" [meaning "contention"], because they had contended with him. They dug another well, and they quarreled over that one, too, so [Isaac] named it "Sitnah" [meaning "harassment"]. He moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it, so he named it "Rechovot" [meaning "open spaces"], saying, 'For now G‑d has granted us ample space and we shall be fruitful in the land.'"

There Isaac's servants dug a well….

From there, he went up to Beer-sheba. G‑d appeared to him that night and said, "I am the G‑d of your father Abraham. Fear not, for I am with you. I will bless you and make your descendants numerous, for the sake of My servant Abraham." [Isaac] built an altar there and invoked G‑d by name. He pitched his tent there, and there Isaac's servants dug a well. Abimelech came to him from Gerar, together with a group of his friends and Phicol, chief of his troops. Isaac said to them, "Why have you come to me, seeing that you hated me and sent me away from you?" They replied, "We have indeed seen that G‑d has been with you, so we said: Let the solemn oath between us now [continue] between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you, that you will do us no evil, just as we did not harm you, and just as we treated you only with kindness and let you leave in peace. From now on, be you blessed by G‑d!

[Isaac] prepared them a feast and they ate and drank. They got up early in the morning and made an oath to each other. Isaac then sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. On that very day, Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had been digging, and they said to him, "We have found water!" He named it "Shiva" [meaning "oath"]. The name of the city is therefore Beer-sheba, to this very day. (Gen. 26:17-33)

Only the first two are mentioned in this passage, plus the phrase: "a well of fresh spring water" that precedes and describes the first well, Eisek. The correspondences that will be made are as follows:


Ab (= 72)


Sag (= 63)

a well of fresh spring water

Mah (= 45)

The mystical significance of the wells is as follows:

The first state of chesed is keter, and it was manifest as the well that was named Eisek. This state of chesed is associated with the name Ab, which possesses four yud's, whose combined num, is 400.

The reference to the states of chesed is not developed in this passage.

The numerical value of yud is 10, so 4 x (10 x 10) = 400.

When [the value of]the four yud's are subtracted from the name Ab, the difference is 32. When this value is combined with 28 [the number of letters used in] the spelling out of the spelling out of the name Ab, the sum is 70. This is the numerical value of the letter ayin, the first letter of the name Eisek.

As seen in the following chart, 28 letters are used in the second spelling out of the name Ab (= 72).

yud 10 = 4 letters yud 10 = 10 letters yud 10 = 28 letters
vav 6
dalet 4
vav 6 vav 6
yud 10
vav 6
dalet 4 dalet 4
lamed 30
tav 400
hei 5 hei 5 hei 5
yud 10
yud 10 yud 10
vav 6
dalet 4
vav 6 vav 6 vav 6
yud 10
vav 6
yud 10 yud 10
vav 6
dalet 4
vav 6 vav 6
yud 10
vav 6
hei 5 hei 5 hei 5
yud 10
yud 10 yud 10
vav 6
dalet 4
26 72 610

Since there are three yud's used to spell out this name [once], they combine together to produce an [expanded] numerical value of 300, [the value of the letter shin]. The yud that is part of the original name produces an [expanded] numerical value of 100, [the value of the letter kuf]. Thus, we have the complete name Eisek.

"Eisek" is spelled ayin-shin-kuf.

We now proceed to another derivation of the name Eisek.

If we take these four yud's together with the name Ab itself, and subtract the two kolel's, we have Eisek a second time.

400 + 72 – 2 = 470.

"Eisek", spelled ayin-shin-kuf , = 70 + 300 + 100 = 470.

And now, a third derivation:

Finally, the numerical value of the word for "the well" [in Hebrew, "ha-be'er" = 208] is the same as that of the name Isaac [in Hebrew, "Yitzchak"], and in Isaac there are ten names Havayah, i.e. the 5 states of chesed and the five states of gevura. Their combined numerical value is 260. When this is added to the value of Yitzchak plus the two kolel's, the sum is again the numerical value of Eisek.

"Ha-be'er" is spelled: hei-beit-alef-reish = 5 + 2 + 1 + 200 = 208.

"Yitzchak" is spelled: yud-tzadik-chet-kuf = 10 + 90 + 8 + 100 = 208.

We have seen many times that the five states of chesed and gevura within Imma are manifest as names Havayah.

26 x 10 = 260.

260 + 208 + 2 = 470.

This is the [mystical] meaning of the verse: "for they contended with him", meaning that "together with him they formed the word Eisek".

The form for "they contended" is "hitasku", meaning "they participated in an eisek", a contention.

Now for another point about Eisek.

Three times the value of Eisek is 1410.

470 x 3 = 1410.

This is the [mystical] meaning of what [G‑d] said to Moses: "Behold, there is a place with Me [in Hebrew, 'iti']" (Ex. 33:21) meaning at the end of 1410, which is the root of Moses.

This verse was spoken by G‑d to Moses when he was on Mt. Sinai. The word "iti" is spelled alef-tav-yud. Since the word "alef" means "a thousand", this spelling can be interpreted as 1000 + 400 + 10 = 1410.

The allusion to Moses might be based on the passage in the Midrash in which it is stated that Moses came into the world at the end of a thousand generations, just as the Torah was given after a thousand generations, meaning that G‑d found no one as suited as Moses to receive the Torah. (Kohelet Rabbah 7:40) But this does not explain the extra 410, and how that is related to the "root" of Moses.

Again, if we consider the yud apart from the four letters of the name Havayah, the sum is 410.

Presumably, this means considering how each of the four yud's used to spell the name Ab is subdivided into 10 sub-aspects (corresponding to the 10 sefirot). This gives 4 x 10 x 10 = 400. On top of this, we consider the original yud of the name Havayah separately, whose numerical value is 10. This totals 410.

Then, if we consider how the ten letters [used to spell out the name Ab] are each divided into another yud, the result is 1000.

Each of the ten letters subdivides into 100 subdivisions and 1000 sub-subdivisions.

Together, the sum [of these two operations] is 1410. This is alluded to in the verse "Behold, there is a place with Me", as stated.

Furthermore, the numerical value of the spelling out of the spelling out of the name Ab is 610. The numerical value of the name itself is 72. If the sum of these two numbers is doubled, the product is 1364.

2 x (610 + 72) = 1364.

Then consider the spelling out of the [72-]name, which uses 10 letters, and the spelling out of the spelling out, which uses 28 letters, and the 4 original letters. The sum of these three numbers is 42. The three kolel's [for these three values] plus the kolel for their sum yields the value of the name Ado-nai [= 65].

42 + 4 = 46.

"Ado-nai" is spelled: Alef-dalet-nun-yud = 1 + 4 + 50 + 10 = 65.

It is not clear to me how we are to arrive at 65 from this calculation, or what the significance of this in this context is. 1

The mystical significance of [the second well,] Sitnah, is as follows:

Three yud's are used to spell out the name Sag [= 63].

The name Sag (= 63) is yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-alef-vav hei-yud.

Their combined [expanded] numerical value is 300. [If we add to this] the numerical value of the name Sag plus the kolel, the total is the numerical value of Sitnah.

300 + 63 + 1 = 364.

"Sitnah" is spelled: sin-tet-nun-hei = 300 + 9 + 50 + 5 = 364.

Again, consider the three yud's, each of which [when spelled out] forms an alef.

The yud is spelled out yud-vav-dalet. These three letters can be seen graphically as the form of the letter alef: The yud is the upper arm of the alef; the vav is the diagonal bar of the alef, and the dalet (inverted) is the lower arm of the alef.

We thus have three alef's, the combined numerical value of which, when spelled out, is 333. To this we must add 30 and the kolel to reach 364.

When the letter alef is spelled out, we have: alef-lamed-pei = 1 + 30 + 80 = 111.

3 x 111 = 333.

333 + 30 + 1 = 364.

Presumably, the required extra 30 in this calculation comes from the values of the three yud's.

Again, consider the three yud's, this time each subdivided into ten. Their combined [expanded] numerical value is 300. They are three alef's, which in turn signify 3 names Eh-yeh. When [the combined expanded numerical value of the three yud's] is combined with the numerical value of the name Sag plus the kolel, the sum is 364.

300 + 63 + 1 = 364.

It is not clear to me why the three alef's, which allude to three names Eh-yeh, are mentioned in this calculation.

We now turn to the 3rd spelling-out of the name Havayah, the name Mah (= 45) which is going to be equated with the phrase "a well of fresh spring water" used to describe the first well, Eisek.

The three alef's used to spell out the name Mah possess the numerical value of 333.

As above, with the "graphically"-produced alef's of the name Sag.

To this we must add 28 [in order to get 361, as will be seen. We arrive at 28 as follows:] Take the value of the name Mah, subtract from it the three alef's; this leaves 42. Subtract further the ten letters used to spell out the name and the four original letters; this leaves 28. Add 28 to 333; this gives 361. This is the numerical value of the words for: "a well of fresh spring water" (Gen. 26:19) [plus the kolel].

The words in Hebrew for "a well of fresh spring water" are "be'eir mayim chayim".

"Be'er" is spelled: beit-alef-reish = 2 + 1 + 200 = 202.

"Mayim" is spelled: mem-yud-mem = 40 + 10 + 40 = 90.

"Chayim" is spelled: chet-yud-yud-mem = 8 + 10 + 10 + 40 = 68.

202 + 90 + 68 = 360.

Again: The three alef's [of the name Mah] are [through reverse graphics] three yud's spelled out.

Here, we split the alef into its graphical components, a yud, a vav, and a dalet, and combine these to spell the word yud.

The combined [expanded] numerical value [of these three yud's] is 300. This leaves 6 other letters in the name Mah, since we have just distributed the original yud.

Presumably this means we have used the value of the yud (10) to expand the other three yud's. All four yud's are thus used up, leaving 6 other letters in the first spelling out of the name Sag.

The [expanded] numerical value of 6 is 60, for each letter sub-divides into 10, as above. To [the 300 and the 60] add the kolel; this gives 361, which is, again, the numerical value of: "a well of fresh spring water".

Up to here is what I found written in the name of one of the master's [i.e. the Arizal's] students.

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Likutei Torah and Sefer HaLikutim, parashat Toldot; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."

Reprinted with permission from Chabad of California. Copyright 2004 by Chabad of California, Inc. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, without permission, in writing, from Chabad of California, Inc.