The Torah portion of Vayeitzei begins with the pasuk “Jacob left Be’er Sheva and went towards Haran.” Seeing as we had already been told this information the repetition seems strange.
The Talmud says Jacob used this moment to institute “Maariv” – the evening prayer. We can calculate Yaakov’s age at this juncture as 77 years old. He had spent his entire life to date as a ‘tent dweller’ – a euphemism for his immersion in spiritual pursuits. So why did he wait until now to create the Maariv prayer? Why had he not come up with his prayer contribution earlier on in his life?
The key to this conundrum seems to be in the city of Be’er Sheva, and specifically the significance of the number 7 in Jewish mystical numerology.
Rabbi Dunner goes through the primary sources, revealing how the patriarchs played a key role in the stability of the physical world through the magnitude of their spiritual status.