When Yakov was sent away from home by his parents:
וַיֵּצֵא יַעֲקֹב מִבְּאֵר שָׁבַע וַיֵּלֶךְ חָרָנָה – Yakov left Beersheva, and he fled to Charan. (28:10)
Why would Yakov leave the land of Israel for a place devoid of spirituality, and more simply, a land he didn’t belong? Furthermore the Torah needn’t mention that he left Be’ersheva. If he went on a journey, presumably he started at home. Why specify his point of departure?
The Sfas Emes explains that Yakov’s escape from Esau’s clutches was a preparation for his descendants’ eventual exiles. Yakov traveled to a place where Hashem’s presence was more hidden, or less palpable; to show his descendants that in the darkest of places, the torch of our faith can still shine bright.
Yakov demonstrated how our faith can persevere throughout our struggles. Consider where he left, Be’ersheva. Home, representative of complete spirituality. How so?
A באר is a wellspring. Water is a fundamental component of all life, and figuratively correlates to the spiritual life force, the connection to G-d that sustains all existence. שבע means seven, representing the seventh day of creation – Shabbos. Shabbos requires that we distance ourselves from mundane and unimportant things. Eating and sleeping are ordinary activities, yet on Shabbos they take on a new dimension as a part of Shabbos observance, allowing us to fuse spirituality and transcendence into the our physical lives. Thus, Be’ersheva represents a place where the spiritual its’ connection to the physical world are apparent.
Yakov’s primeval journey shows how to travel through the darkness. The Torah very deliberately records his point of departure – we must always remember where we came from. We may find ourselves in places where G-d seems remote, yet we have the capacity to serve Him through simple actions and thoughts. A kind word or deed, a simple blessing on what we eat, can bring G-d into our lives in the darkest of hours.