A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
In life, people often think that events happen because of sheer coincidence. We fail to realize that indeed it is the guiding hand of Hashem that causes things to happen at seemingly inauspicious moments.
In life, people often think that events happen because of sheer coincidence. We fail to realize that indeed it is the guiding hand of Hashem that causes things to happen at seemingly inauspicious moments. In this week's Torah portion, we find an excellent example of this phenomenon playing itself out. Eliezer, upon being instructed by Abraham to find a suitable wife for Isaac, prays to Hashem that He guide events so that the proper match would be found. No sooner had he formulated this supplication then Rebecca appeared and proceeded to display the requisite kindness in her beneficent treatment of Eliezer and his camels (Please see the parshat Chayei Sara summary for the details of Eliezer's plan.)
The Torah relates, "And it was when he had not yet finished speaking
that suddenly Rebecca was coming out. . ."(Genesis 24:15). Rabbeinu Bechaya,
a 14th century Torah commentator, explains that the Hebrew word for "he"
used in the verse is superfluous, and that instead of referring to Eliezer,
"he" refers to Hashem. Thus, this verse relates how Hashem interceded to
ensure that Eliezer would "chance" upon Rebecca at the opportune moment.
Moreover, the commentary Toldot Yitzchak explains that because of Rebecca's
modesty, she rarely ventured to the well, and that Hashem caused her to go
specifically on that day.
Now, were a similar scene to play itself out today, one would perhaps fail to take note of the Providential direction of the event. Observers may see a meeting between two people as mere happenstance a casual incidence of "boy meets girl". It is important to realize, however, that in the larger scheme of things, such an incident cannot be viewed as being so simple; Isaac's and Rebecca's shidduch (match) is an excellent example of Hashem working behind the scenes. Perhaps this Torah narrative most effectively represents the Jewish term "basheirt", commonly used in reference to one's future spouse who will be met at the "properly ordained" time, and more broadly referring to the concept that everything flows from Hashem's will.
Thus, the description of the amazing rendezvous between two of the essential progenitors of the Jewish people should sensitize us to realize that at every turn in life, at every crossroad of uncertainty, and at every moment of interaction, there are events which may not be accidental, but rather examples of Hashem's active participation in our daily lives. Things do happen for a reason; it is just that with our limited spiritual intelligence, we are not always cognizant of their purpose.
Daniel Lasar is a secondyear student at Emory Law School in Atlanta.
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