Parashat Chayei Sarah introduces us to the first human matchmaker, Avraham’s servant Eliezer. Eliezer is on a mission to find a wife for Yitzchak, and his first stop is a hot spot for singles: the well. At the well, Rivka graciously draws water for Eliezer and his camels. Israeli Torah scholar Nehama Leibowitz points out that the Torah emphasizes on three occasions that Rivka drew water for Eliezer and his animals in order to highlight her virtuosity and selflessness. That is a lot of shlepping for a complete stranger!
Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me Match
The Midrash in Genesis Rabbah 60:12 postulates that when Rivka’s brother and mother asked her, “Will you go with this man [Eliezer]?” (Genesis 24:58), they were implying, “Will you actually go with this man?!” Apparently, the family wasn’t so thrilled with this Shidduch (Hebrew for “match”)! According to the Midrash, Rivka states “I will go” (Genesis 24:58) to communicate to her family that she would go even though they do not approve. Like Avraham, Rivka breaks away from her family and leaves her homeland to go to an unknown place that God will show her.