The second narrative of Parshat Chayei Sarah deals with one if not the most important mission Avraham Avinu had to achieve; Finding a suitable wife for his son Yitzchak. After all, he knew this son is the link to the chain which will eventually become “Am Yisrael”. So one can imagine the significance of finding him the right partner…
We will read this week: (24.1)
“And Avraham was old, advanced in days, and G-d had blessed Avraham with everything. And Avraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that was his, “Please place your hand under my thigh. And I will adjure you by the G-d of the heaven and the G-d of the earth that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose midst I dwell. But you shall go to my land and to my birthplace, and you shall take a wife for my son, for Isaac.”
וְאַבְרָהָ֣ם זָקֵ֔ן בָּ֖א בַּיָּמִ֑ים וַֽיהֹוָ֛ה בֵּרַ֥ךְ אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֖ם בַּכֹּֽל׃
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אַבְרָהָ֗ם אֶל־עַבְדּוֹ֙ זְקַ֣ן בֵּית֔וֹ הַמֹּשֵׁ֖ל בְּכׇל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֑וֹ שִֽׂים־נָ֥א יָדְךָ֖ תַּ֥חַת יְרֵכִֽי׃
וְאַשְׁבִּ֣יעֲךָ֔ בַּֽיהֹוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וֵֽאלֹהֵ֖י הָאָ֑רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר לֹֽא־תִקַּ֤ח אִשָּׁה֙ לִבְנִ֔י מִבְּנוֹת֙ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר אָנֹכִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֥ב בְּקִרְבּֽוֹ׃
כִּ֧י אֶל־אַרְצִ֛י וְאֶל־מוֹלַדְתִּ֖י תֵּלֵ֑ךְ וְלָקַחְתָּ֥ אִשָּׁ֖ה לִבְנִ֥י לְיִצְחָֽק׃
One question; Was this mission not important enough for Avraham Avinu to undertake it himself ? Why send his “servant, the elder of his house” for the mission which will determine the characteristics of Klal Yisrael forever?
True, Avraham Avinu was an old man at the time, but he would still live for another 35 years, and the mission was the most important one!
Let us try and think it through. Although The Torah tells us the Rivkah had a very pleasant appearance too, the choice was to be determined by one test only. Namely, the young girl’s Midot Tovot. Her good character. Standing at the water fountain, the servant has planned that “the maiden to whom I will say, ‘Lower your jug and I will drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels” is the girl I am looking for!
הִנֵּ֛ה אָנֹכִ֥י נִצָּ֖ב עַל־עֵ֣ין הַמָּ֑יִם וּבְנוֹת֙ אַנְשֵׁ֣י הָעִ֔יר יֹצְאֹ֖ת לִשְׁאֹ֥ב מָֽיִם׃
וְהָיָ֣ה הַֽנַּעֲרָ֗ אֲשֶׁ֨ר אֹמַ֤ר אֵלֶ֙יהָ֙ הַטִּי־נָ֤א כַדֵּךְ֙ וְאֶשְׁתֶּ֔ה וְאָמְרָ֣ה שְׁתֵ֔ה וְגַם־גְּמַלֶּ֖יךָ אַשְׁקֶ֑ה אֹתָ֤הּ הֹכַ֙חְתָּ֙ לְעַבְדְּךָ֣ לְיִצְחָ֔ק וּבָ֣הּ אֵדַ֔ע כִּי־עָשִׂ֥יתָ חֶ֖סֶד עִם־אֲדֹנִֽי׃
Now – let us think. Avraham Avinu was one of the most famous persons in the world at the time (and still is…). If HE would arrive at that water fountain, every girl would have rushed to give him and his entourage as much water as he would have needed. The test as such, would have been a failure…
Having sent “the servant”. An unknown incognito, to do this mission, ensured the genuine results of the character test, which Rivka Imeinu has passed with flying colours….
Good Shabbes & good health BS”D
Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld