It is exam time for the students amongst us and the heat is on. Taking a test or being put to the test is not always fun but every challenge we overcome bears a invaluable outcome in our lives.
Rivka the Matriarch is being put to the test this week as Eliezer looks for the signs in search for a wife to Yitzchak his master. Endless questions are raised in this episode including how can you possibly find a wife by walking around town with camels and slaves, what methods have you got and are you certain you know what your doing? The indicating secret was that any young women that would offer him a drink upon his arrival to town will be the suitable to marry Yitzchak. This arouses many more questions; why would a women serving water be fitting enough, why did Eliezer arrive with 10 camels, and why not openly state your intended stay in Aram Neharayim? But more puzzling is that Rivka offers not only a drink to Eliezer but also water to his men and 10 Camels and Eliezer is not convinced that she has passed the test. He waits until she draws water for his large crew before he presents the offer of betrothal. He should have already been convinced enough by her offer and not have to wait and see if she will in fact supply the water?
The Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh ( Rabbi Chaim Ben Atar, Morocco, Israel 1696-1733) highlights that Eliezer was prepared to present the gifts of betrothal immediately upon receiving water. However since Rivka offered more than she was asked when willingly adding water to the camels, Eliezer was skeptical and concerned that she is promising more than she can handled. He decided to wait a bit and she if she is a women of her word or one that speaks more than she can handle as the verse states ‘ guard the whereabouts of your tongue’. When Eliezer in fact realized that Rivka was zealous and kept her word he immediately presented the gifts.
R. David Benchlouch