Chayei Sarah – Chamishi

...Catch Me a Catch...

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Eliezer brought out gifts for Rivka and her family. The group ate and drank to celebrate the occasion, then Eliezer and his assistants spent the night. The next morning, he was eager to return to Avraham, but Rivka’s family procrastinated. They suggested that Rivka stay at home for a year or ten months before going to Yitzchak, but Eliezer did not wish to delay. They decided to leave it up to Rivka, who wanted to go immediately. (“A year or ten months” can also be understood as “a week or ten days,” but the Talmud doesn’t care for this interpretation because it doesn’t make much sense for Rivka’s family to be haggling UP – see Kesubos 57b, quoted here by Rashi.)

Rivka’s family blessed her with prosperity and sent her on her way. She, her attendant, Eliezer, and his assistants all headed off towards Avraham’s home. They encountered Yitzchak near Be’er L’Chai Ro’i (see Genesis 16:14 – Rashi quotes a Midrash suggesting that Yitzchak may have been there to see Hagar about coming back to Avraham). Yitzchak had gone into the field to pray when he saw the caravan approaching.

When Rivka saw Yitzchak, she jumped off the camel and covered herself with her veil. Eliezer introduced Yitzchak and Rivka; it was love at first sight. He brought her into the family and she became the lady of the house, in place of Sarah. (Rashi cites a Midrash that the house enjoyed certain blessings in Sarah’s merit. These wnt away when she died, but they returned when Rivka joined the family.)

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