Providing From Strength

“At the time of evening, when the water-drawers go out”(Breisheet 24:11)

The servant of Avraham, Eliezer, arrives at his destination so as to fulfill the task he swore to undertake: finding a proper wife of Yitzhak.  He approaches the city well and it is as the evening comes, when the young women fill their pails and flasks.  What could be the significance of such a setting for the story to unfold?

The symbolism that is evident is that the world needs nourishment and that originates with the sphere of Grace (chesed).  In seeking out the ‘special’ woman, it was not enough that Eliezer be provided with what he needed, which is “chesed rak middat rachmanut” (grace only in a merciful amount) whereas one who provides more than this minimum is full chesed.

Eliezer was looking for the character trait that would provide not due to a feeling of concern, of being sorry for someone’s position but rather through the grand ability to grant charity, to give out of gevura (might), for gevura is that personality element attributed to Yitzhak.

The best situation is where one realizes that one has a duty, almost as if noblesse oblige, to provide but not because feelings of sympathy but of a grand realization that this is part of our task as Jews: to provide from strength.


Rebbe Shimon Shlomo of Bender in Or HaShemesh p. 19

Rebbe Shimon Shlomo 1805 – 1862 was the grandson of Rav Shimon Shlomo whose uncle was Rav Moshe of Savran.

His yahrtzeit is 20 Adar II.


About yisraelmedad

I am a revenant, that is, a Jew who has returned to his historical homeland. I live in Shiloh, the pre-monarchy capital of the Israel tribal federation where I have lived with my family since 1981. I have been in Israel since 1970. Previously, I have worked in the Knesset, as a parliamentary aide, in Government, as an advisor to a Minister and Deputy-Minister, as director of Israel’s Media Watch, and now retired Director of Information Resources at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center after 17 years. I have now been appointed Deputy Editor to the critical anthology edition of Jabotinsky's Writings in English.
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