I diligently avoid Toras haNistar, and I recommend the same to all my fellow Torah dilettantes. I find that some of what I understand is two dimensional and descriptive rather than analytical or prescriptive, and the rest is often disturbing. However, I recently saw a Chasam Sofer in a new edition (Edited by Yosef Naftali Stern, Shapira print, Yerushalayim Tuf shin samach tes) that was intriguing. So I wrote a letter to great unknown, asking if he had any idea of what the Chasam Sofer was talking about. Here is my letter and his response, slightly edited.
In Parshas Chayei Sara (24:62), where Yitschak first meets Rivkah, it says that he had returned from Be'er Lachai Ro'i, where he had been living-- בא מבוא מבאר לחי ראי The Chasam Sofer there says that the words Ba mi'bo, which literally means "he came from coming", connotes an idea similar to the English phrase "coming and going," a degree of instability. So long as Avraham was alive, Yitzchak's specific personality trait was still tentative. He wasn't firmly established in his unique identity until after his father's passing, at which point he grew into his personification of the midda of gevura (strength? might?mastery?). Then the Chasam Sofer says that that just as Be'er Sheva was the focal point of Avraham's midda of Chesed, (for it was there that he had his Eshel, his hostel for travelers,) so too was באר לחי ראי the source of Yitzchak's specific trait of gevura This is why the passuk in Chayei Sarah (25:11) says
Then he says that Be'er Lachai Ro'i was not unique to Yitzchak; משם ירש ישמעאל כחו ומשם כחו של עשו From there, too, Yishmael inherited his strength, and from there, too, came Eisav's strength. The connection to Yishmael is explicit: it was there that the angel told Hagar that her son would be a powerful man. See Lech Lecha, Breishis 16:13-14, where it says
The connection to Eisav is alluded to in this week's parsha. In 33:9, Eisav told Yaakov וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו יֶשׁ לִי רָב אָחִי and the words "li rav achi" contain the same letters as the words "Be'er Lachai Ro'i" (although not the same number of letters.)
He then says that although all drew their strength from the same be'er, there was a big difference: Eisav's "li rav achi" begins with the letters l r and a, while "be'er lachai ro'i" begins with b l and r. The Gematriya of the latter is 232, while that of the former is 231. He says that 231 she'arim are tamei and 231 are tahor, פנים ואחור, and that 232 is the gematria of yehi ohr and the roshei teivos of Ki rotzeh hashem be'amo.
It sounds interesting, that all drew their strength from the same place, and the quasi anagram is cool, but I don't know what he's talking about. If you can tell me a reasonable pshat, I would appreciate it, so I don't have to just leave that thing about Cheerios on the blog.
And this is what he answered me:
Superficial quick analysis:
Sarah was midas hadin (sitra d'nukvasah). [The Chidah, (I think in Yad David) brings a pshat that because
Yitzchak was connected to the midas hadin, he was too feminine to reproduce, and therefore had to be
shected and resurrected in order to ma'amid zera.]
The victim of Sarah's midas hadin was Hagar. The Ramban points out that because of the mistreatment of Hagar, Yishmoel was given shlita to attack the Jews. Be'er Lachai Roi was where Hagar was mekabel upon herself the midas hadin by acceding to the malach's instructions of vehis'ani tachas yadah. Thus, the koach of Yishmael stems from that be'er.
Mincha, which is keneged gevurah/din, was created at that self-same be'er.
And of course, Esav took the pesoles of din with him as a son of Yitzchok.
Note that Esav took the pesoles of Yitzchok's middah, just as Yishmoel took the pesoles of Avraham's middas hachesed. The koach hagevurah of Yishmoel over klal yisroel is a secondary aspect which he was yoresh from Hagar, as discussed.
On the other hand, Yitzchok crystallized his midas din precisely when Hashem sent him the tikkun of Rivka, to allow them to create the tif'eres of Yaakov.
There are two aspects of din - the negative and the positive. Din can be used destructively or positively - even by non-Jews. Thus the 231 shearim of tum'ah and taharah.
However, the underlying purpose of din, which is an offspring of chesed, is to allow the world/Jews to earn
schar and come to an ultimate tikkun. Thus, the world was originally created b'din - yehi ohr, which represents the 231 shearim of din plus the alef of the hidden kavana. This is why reshoim should not use the original ohr, because they would realize that din is beneficial. The yesod of the ohr shivas yemei bereshit can now be found only in the Torah - which is the ultimate chesed comprised of din.
The tachlis of this din to bring to chesed is of course klal yisroel, hence rotzeh hashem be'amo.
Unfortunately, my library is mostly packed away, so I could not provide you with more information/mar'ei mekomos. This is all I could come up with off of the (ed.- top of my head).
Post script by Barzilai:
For what it's worth, I would have understood the triple allusion to בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי to mean that divine inspiration or grace is not our monopoly; Every human being has access to ruchnius: We share the Be'er even with our nemeses, even with Yishma'el and Eisav. But to me, this doesn't have the ring of truth. It's like something Casuto would say; it's too 'haskooolish."
Post script II:
Nemeses is the plural of Nemesis.
Post Script III
Another question that bothers me, and that I have not seen anyone address, is this: What is the relationship between the name Hagar gave to the place of spirituality, and the name Avraham gave to the mekom ha'akeida--