Shabbat Chayai Sarah
“And Hashem blessed Avraham with everything, BaKol….” (24:1). What “everything” really is is a subject of Midrash and biblical commentary, but in essence the expression “everything” would indicate that he was happy with his portion in life. The Tiferet Uziel, a medieval commentator, states that recognizing the blessing that you have in life is also associated with the age that you are. When you are young, you are uncertain that your resources are sufficient for your present and future needs. In the verse it says first that Avraham was older and advanced in years. At this point in his life he sees that what he possesses is enough to carry him and his family into the future. It is a brachah to reach a certain age and realize that you are secure.
Avraham sends his trusted servant Eliezer to arrange for the shidduch of Yitzchak, his son. This trust that Avraham had for his servant is immense. No other task was greater. In the eyes of Avraham, he had to make sure that the future matriarch of Israel would be suited to the character traits that Avraham and Sarah held dear in establishing their own household. Abraham had great trust and confidence in Eliezer. Eliezer is true to the task. This is evidenced by the fact that his name is never mentioned in this Parsha. He is referred to only as the “servant of Avraham.” He never lost sight of his mission. He did not do or say anything that did not support his mission; he never lost focus of the task and how important that task really was.
When Rivkah returns with Eliezer and sees Yitzchak for the first time, the Torah states that Yitzchak had gone out to “converse in the field” (24:63). Rashi comments that he went out to pray. Our Rabbis mention that Yitzchak was the patriarch who established the Minchah prayer. The real question that should be asked is: Why doesn’t the Torah specifically say that Yitzchak went out to pray in the field? According to some commentators the Torah uses the expression it does in order to instruct us that when we pray, we should do so quietly in a modest fashion, without fanfare or publicity, and not declare our reverence for Hashem in a loud voice. Yitzchak was a model for this (as would Channah be when she came to the Mishkan to pray for the blessing of a baby.) Somebody walking and seeing Yitzchak out in the field would surmise that he was taking in the pleasant air, or going for a walk enjoying the evening climate and the setting of the sun. The reality of the situation, according to the Rabbis, is that Yitzchak was establishing a new prayer, the prayer of Minchah.
Shabbat Shalom שבת שלום.
Rabbi David Grossman
Leave a Reply.