In this week’s Parsha, after Sarah Imeinu dies, Rashi tells us that the 3 miracles that Hashem placed on her tent leave. What were those 3 miracles? Sarah’s candles for Shabbos stayed lit the entire week, the dough on her table was always fresh, and the ענני הכבוד was constantly hovering over her tent. Later on in the Parsha, when Rivka Imeinu enters Sarah’s tent, these miracles return. Therefore, it would be logical to say that Rivka is Sarah’s replacement in the family. How do the two characters parallel each other?
On a physical level, both Sarah and Rivka are described in the text as “beautiful looking”. Furthermore, both of them favored their younger sons while their husbands took a liking to their older sons. Yet both times, the mothers are correct in the bad that they saw in their older two sons.
We see that Rivka fits right into the family. She is not only parallel to her mother in law, but also, is very similar to Avraham Aveinu, her father in law.
Avraham wanted for his son someone like himself. He makes Eliezer, his servant, promise to find Yitzchak Aveinu a wife that is from his homeland and from his people. Rivka fits this mold perfectly because both her and Avraham ultimately have לך לך experiences. Both Avraham and Rivka leave their birthplace, families, and the morals that they were brought up with in order to go to Eretz Yisroel and lead a religious and observant life. Maybe it’s because they are originally from the same family! This could be why the text mentions Rivka’s lineage and says “daughter of Bethuel, brother of Avraham”. How can we understand Rivka’s לך לך experience?! Avraham’s made sense; He was commanded directly by Hashem himself and promised to be made into a great and plentiful nation. Why would Rivka agree to leave her home and everything she knows with a complete stranger?
Throughout פרק כד׳, we see that the text constantly switches back between the words איש and עבד to describe Eliezer. We learn from this that Eliezer plays two roles in this story. Every time he is mentioned as an עבד, it is because he is doing work and servant like activities for Avraham, his master. When he is referred to as איש, it is from the viewpoint of Rivka. איש is a לשון חשיבות, a language of importance. Eliezer is the most amazing, unbelievable person Rivka has ever seen simply from seeing him daven! She thought, “If this man who I am being told to marry has such a holy servant, who am I to not go when I already am looking for something more?” After Rivka sees Yitzchak davening she falls off of her camel out of awe! And suddenly, Yitzchak is called an איש and Eliezer is called an עבד. It is all relative to the people Rivka is around. Up until her seeing Yitzchak, Eliezer is the holiest man she has ever met. Now, it is Yitzchak who is the holiest person she has ever met.
Yitzchak brings Rivka into his mother’s tent and all of the miracles return. The Torah then tells us that Yitzchak is now comforted for his mother’s loss. This is because Rivka was the perfect addition for both Avraham and Yitzchak into the family. Shabbat shalom!
Student Studying in MMY