The Torah spends a lot of time telling us the story of how Yitzchok met Rivkah, and then repeats the whole story a second time later in the Parsha. What is the lesson we can learn from here?
As we get to the end of the calendar year, there’s always a lot of buzz about what the word of the year is going to be. Some people are suggesting reflection or social justice. That’s actually two words, so I’m not sure about that, but I’ll tell you what my vote is in a second. I think there’s one word that positively defines what we’ve been through this year. But first I want to give you an explanation for a question that many have asked, and I’m sure you’ve heard before, because it’s really glaring.
In our parsha, we talk about the story of Eliezer finding the perfect wife for Yitzhak. And not only does the Torah give a lot of detail and exactly what his efforts were to find the right wife for Yitzchak, but when he repeats the story over to Rivkah’s family, the Torah repeats the entire story all over again. The Torah is usually so specific in what words it uses and not saying anything extra, why are we embellishing so much to say the story twice over here?
Rav Chatzkel Levenstein explains that the Torah here is teaching us a very valuable lesson and it was worth the Torah repeating all this in order for us to learn this.
The background to the story is that Eliezer or had a daughter who he thought would be perfect to marry Yitzchak, and he built up the courage to ask Avraham one day, you know, I have a daughter, you have a son, maybe we can do something here? And Avraham said, it’s not going to happen, it won’t work out. And the Eliezer was distraught about it. And then Avraham went ahead and asked Eliezer to please go and find the right wife for Yitzchak. Could you imagine how torn he was? He really wanted his daughter to marry Yitzchak, but he put his own feelings aside.
That is the lesson that the Torah is trying to teach us here and why it repeats it. Because we all need to realize that sometimes we have our self-interests and things that we want to do that are best for us, but when we need to do the right thing, a lot of times we need to be selfless.
Which brings us to what I think the word of the year should be: selflessness. There was so much good and so much kindness going on in times of need this year. I think you’ll agree that it’s something we can all internalize in a generation where so many people are just looking out for what’s best for them to take a step back and realize that we’re a nation that is selfless and looks out for others.
Have a great Shabbos.
Avraham Kohn produces marketing videos for companies and organizations, helping them make money.