I think very few of us make frequent visits to a well these days, nor do I think that it is your town meeting place. Yet in the past, the town well was the ‘hang out’ of town. Not that they were there to hang out (before modern day technology it took about a day to do laundry, much longer to cook food, sewing had to be done by hand…  don’t think people had time to hang out), it was more like a place to socialize while getting the necessary water. Not only that, but three couples from the Tanach had a well feature in their ‘happily ever after’.

Yitzchak (Isaac) and Rivka (Rebecca)

This is a pretty well known story, Avraham sent his servant Eliezer to scout out a wife for his son Yitzchak. With just under a dozen camels behind him, Eliezer went to Haran (as the girls from there had better middos than the girls from Canaan had). He asked Hashem to give him signs, and one of the signs was that when the right girl for Yitzchak came to the well to get water, the water in the well will come up to greet her. So it happened, when Rivka came with her pitcher to get water for her family, the water came up to greet her. That was what Eliezer was waiting for.

Yaakov (Jacob) and Rochel (Rachel)

Yaakov was on the run from his brother Eisav (Esau), left penniless he made his way towards his uncle, Lavan’s house (with a few year stop at Yeshiva).  Arriving at the well near Haran, Yaakov  saw Rochel coming towards the well with her father’s sheep. Realizing that she could not give her sheep to drink as there was a rock covering the opening of the well. Yaakov removed the rock from the well so easily, it was like removing a pot lid… and the rock would have taken three men to lift. With the setting of the well the two met for the first time and they got married (After a few hassles, caused by Lavan) and from their marriage came Yoseph and Binyamin.

Moshe (Moses) and Tzipporah (Zipporah)

Yisro (Jethro) was a priest in Midyan, yet after some time he threw away all idolatrous practices that were the norm of that locale. As a result, he and his family were  harassed by the locals. On one occasion, his daughters (or granddaughters according to a later Midrash) went to the well to draw water. Upon seeing them there, the local shepherds began to chase the sisters, among them Tzipporah away. Yet Moshe was there and he rescued the sisters and helped them get the water. The sisters reported this to their patriarch who invited Moshe to come and join them for a meal. After that Tzipporah married Moshe.

According to a Midrash, the reason why Moshe was by the well was that he was looking for a wife, building on his great-grandfather’s experience of finding a wife there. Source

Next Weeks Topic: Women are usually the gentler gender, yet sometimes women are required to go against their gentleness and act for the sake of Heaven. Which women in the Tanach did this?