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Waters From Below

Massive reserves of fresh water have recently been discovered under the oceans off Australia, China, and North America. According to environmental researchers at Flinders University in Australia, there are approximately a half-million cubic kilometers of low-saline water hidden under the seabed. This volume of water is 100 times greater than the amount extracted from earth since 1900. These reserves of fresh water have the potential to provide for the water needs of some regions of the world for decades to come.

According to lead researcher Dr. Vincent Post, the fresh water can be accessed by building a platform at sea and drilling into the seabed, or by drilling from the mainland. “Freshwater on our planet is increasingly under stress and strain, so the discovery of significant new stores off the coast is very exciting. It means that more options can be considered to help reduce the impact of droughts and continental water shortages,” Post said.

Torah is often compared to a “spring of fresh water.” Freshwater itself can be categorized as surface water and groundwater. While the surface water can be easily accessed, the ground water requires great effort to bring it to the surface.

In the Torah, we find passages describing the wells dug by our forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Isaac dug two wells that were stuffed up by his enemies. He then dug a third well, on which there was no dispute. The midrash likens the first two wells to the first and second Holy Temples, which were destroyed, while the third, enduring well is symbolic of the third Temple, which will last forever.

Each of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, had a different mission and purpose in this world. Isaac’s work was primarily in refining the physical world through his avodah, divine service. This required great effort, digging through rock and dirt to get to the fresh water below. This is also symbolic of our divine service over the course of exile. At times it may seem like backbreaking labor, devoid of any meaning. It is a very long, slow process to access this hidden water and bring it to the surface. However, the vast reservoirs of water are there, waiting for us to find them. Because we did the spiritual work of refining the world and drawing up that hidden water, the holiness of the third Temple will never leave us – it will stand forever.

The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, once had a vision that he met with Moshiach and asked him, “When will my master come?” Moshiach answered, “When your wellsprings will spread outward.” Spreading the wellsprings of Chassidut outward will permeate the world with holiness and prepare it for Redemption. With the coming of Moshiach, says the prophet, “The world will be filled with knowledge of G-d, as water covers the ocean.”


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