banner2.gif
  Torah from Dixie leftbar.gif [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []    [top_xxx.jpg]

HEY, ANYONE HAVE A MATCH?

by Rabbi Shmuel Weiss   
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer   

I can just imagine this ad in the personal section: "Seeking: Young woman to marry future patriarch (almost slaughtered recently and in need of much TLC;) must be prepared to lead a great nation and prepare a mean potato cholent."

 

complete_story.gif    

[]

I can just imagine this ad in the personal section: "Seeking: Young woman to marry future patriarch (almost slaughtered recently and in need of much TLC;) must be prepared to lead a great nation and prepare a mean potato cholent."

Abraham had to find just the right match for Isaac, someone with both abundant tenderness and moral strength. Hashem guided the path to Rebecca, perhaps the most courageous and self-sacrificing of all the matriarchs. Through her bold and daring championship of Jacob over Esau, Rebecca would literally change our history forever.

But let us back up a bit. Abraham charges his faithful servant Eliezer with the task of finding a mate for his beloved son. Yet Eliezer, say our sages, has a "hidden agenda." For he himself has a daughter. Why not, he reasons, choose her for this special match?

So when Eliezer departs to the town of Aram Naharayim, he is filled with mixed emotions. He now suddenly sets a convoluted, complex condition for finding the right girl: She must offer to give him, and his camels, water. Miraculously, Rebecca meets all of Eliezerís unusual conditions.

But let us stop for a moment and analyze. Why wasnít Eliezerís daughter a suitable match for Isaac? After all, Eliezer is respectfully referred to as an elder. After so many years of attending to Abraham, Eliezer must have soaked up vast amounts of Abrahamís Torah and good character traits, presumably passing them on to his daughter. So why not take her, and be done with it?

Eliezerís grasp of Torah must have been significant, but it was not his own. It was merely a carbon-copy of his masterís teachings and insights. For Judaism to move forward, Abraham knew, it must progress, proliferate, grow, and expand. It was not enough to just parrot the same words and thoughts that had already been enunciated; there must be innovative Torah ideas that will flow from the mind of a fresh new thinker, adding a new dimension to G-dís.world.

Rebecca -- like all good wives -- was the catalyst for inspiring Isaac to carve out his own niche in Jewish history, to pioneer a whole new approach to Torah and Hashem, to provide the link between Abraham, the doer of kindness, and Jacob, the studious scholar.

She was the match that sparked the man.

[]

Rabbi Shmuel Weiss, a close friend of the Torah from Dixie family, is the director of the Jewish Outreach Center in Ranaíana, Israel.

You are invited to read more Parshat Chayei Sarah articles.

Would you recommend this article to a friend? Let us know by sending an e-mail to editor@tfdixie.com

butombar.gif [] [] [] []

© 2001, Torah From Dixie. All rights reserved.