Thursday, November 16, 2006

Parsha - Chaye Sarah

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Emunah and Bitachon

From the very beginning humans were expected to expend effort to attain their goals. When G-d created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, He commanded them to "work it and to guard it" (Genesis 2; 15). Even though everything was provided for them, they were expected to earn their keep. After they were evicted from paradise one of the curses was that only through the sweat of their brow will they eat food.
In our Torah reading it is surprising to find that Yitzchak seems to make no effort to find himself a wife, but relies on his father to appoint someone as matchmaker for him. Furthermore, when Eliezer, Avraham's servant, arrives in Padan Aram he also makes no effort to find the suitable match, but tells G-d to show him the object of his quest. Compared with the actions of Ya'akov, when he arrives in Padan Aram to find a wife a generation later, Eliezer appears to expend no energy to find Yitzchak's prospective bride. When Ya'akov arrived (ibid. 29), and ascertains that he has reached the correct destination, he begins asking questions about Lavan and his family, to try and find the most suitable marriage partner. When he sees Rachel he realises immediately that she is to be his wife. Eliezer on the other hand simply tethers his camels, and tells G-d to do the rest.
Though we are supposed to have faith and trust in G-d, total reliance on Him is an abdication of responsibility. Eliezer seems to fail to act in a responsible manner. In fact the Midrash (Bereishis Rabba 60) criticizes Eliezer for his request in asking G-d to find the proper wife for Yitzchak.

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