Chayei Sarah – Shlishi

...Make Me a Match...

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Eliezer took ten camels loaded with Avraham’s wealth and went to the city where Avraham’s bother Nachor lived. When he arrived, he parked his camels near the city well and prayed to G-d. Eliezer asked a favor on behalf of his master, Avraham. He would ask a girl for a drink and if she replied by offering to also water his camels, he would know that this was the one. (This test made sense in that Avraham was renowned for his hospitality, so such a response would indicate that the girl was an appropriate addition to the household. On the other hand, it is inappropriate to cut such deals with G-d and Eliezer is lucky that G-d allowed it to turn out okay, since He doesn’t always – see Taanis 4a.)

Eliezer finished his prayer, when along came Rivka. (Remember her? We mentioned her at the end of Parshas Vayera.) Eliezer said, “Excuse me, miss. Can I trouble you for a drink?” Rivka replied, “Sure! How about I water your camels while I’m at it?” You can imagine how happy Eliezer was! He placed gold jewelry on Rivka and asked who her family was. When he found out that she was Avraham’s grand-niece, he was ecstatic! Rivka invited Eliezer to spend the night, further underscoring her trait of hospitality.

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