Text: Genesis 23:1 – 25:18
In Parashat (Torah Portion) Chayei Sarah, Sarah has recently died, and Abraham seeks and purchases a burial cave for her from the local Canaanites. Abraham soon realizes he should find a wife for his son Isaac. He asks his servant, Eliezar, to swear to him that he will go to the land of Abraham's family and find a wife for Isaac among his brethren -- Abraham says Isaac may not marry a local Canaanite woman, nor may Isaac return to Abraham's birthplace; God has forbidden it. If the woman refuses to return with him, Abraham says, Eliezar will be free of his vow and may return empty-handed. Eliezar promises Abraham accordingly and sets off with a caravan of ten camels, praying along the way: "Oh God of my lord Abraham, when I meet the woman You have destined for Abraham's son Isaac, may she not only give me a drink from her jar, but also offer to draw water for the camels!" Shortly after, it became clear that God heard his prayer: a beautiful young woman, Rebekah, emerges to draw water from the well. Eliezar asks for a drink -- she rushes to sate his thirst, and immediately runs to draw water for his camels as well. Eliezar meets Rebekah's family, finds out she is from Abraham's tribe, just as Abraham had wished. Rebekah's family asks her if she would like to go with this man to marry Isaac -- Rebekah says yes. Eliezar and Rebekah journey back toward Abraham and Isaac. When Rebekah sees Isaac in the distance, she asks Eliezar who that man is. After hearing that this man would soon be her husband, Rebekah falls from her camel (some commentaries say because she grew nervous; others say she fell in reaction to Isaac's beauty and kind face). Isaac brings Rebekah into his mother's tent for the night, sealing the marriage -- they grew to love each other very much.
Parashat Chayei Sarah: Print