The Right Choice by Yona Baer


              "God, if the sun shines on Sunday, then I'll complete my business deal."  If someone were to express such a thought, we would think he is most strange.  After all, the Torah specifically tells us that אין סומכין על הנס, one may not rely on miracles.

              It seems that Eliezer does just that in this week's Sedra.  While looking for a wife for Yitzchak, Eliezer comes up with an elaborate sign for God to show him who to pick to be that new wife.  Eliezer says, "Let it be that the maiden to whom I shall say, 'Please tip over your jug so that I may drink,' and who replies, 'Drink, and I will even water your camels,' will be the one designated by You for Your servant Yitzchak."  But it seems that Eliezer is indeed praying to God for a miracle!  What happened to the Halacha of אין סומכין על הנס? 

              Chazal explain that Eliezer was not asking that these conditions be a direct sign from God.  Rather, Eliezer was using this as a test.  The woman who was kind enough to perform the strenuous task of drawing water for a total stranger, and then kind enough to go even further by giving water to his camels, would be a fitting wife for Yitzchak.  This "sign" was not a guess on Eliezer's part.  Eliezer understood what virtues were required for someone to be the daughter-in-law of Avraham Avinu.  He later says to Rivkah, "For you have done Chessed (kindness) with my master."

              Chessed is a foundation of the Jewish people.  The Gemara in Taanit states, "If a bride has beautiful eyes, her whole body need not be examined."  Rabbi Yehuda Nachshoni explains that this means that if a bride is "of good eye," namely that she is generous, then she has everything.  There is no doubt that the test that Eliezer chose in order to choose a wife for Yitzchak was fully successful.

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