An Appreciation of Eliezer
There are unspoken words between Abraham and his servant Eliezer. Abraham sends Eliezer on the most important mission of his great career, to find the proper wife for Yitzchak and to ensure the future of the Jewish people. Eliezer, who has been a devoted servant and major domo for many years, will do as Abraham ordered and wished, but he bears a heavy burden of desire in his heart.
He is the greatest and most accomplished of Abraham’s students. He has proven his devotion to his master over decades of service. He converted to Abraham’s faith from conviction and he dreams of his daughter as Abraham’s choice for Isaac.
The master has already decided that he must return to his roots to find a wife for his son. He understands that she must derive from the same source as did he. She must have the ability to stand up to her environment and family. She must be, as Abraham, a woman of great conviction.
Abraham also appreciated how much of his internal strength derived from his family. He looked far back in his life and reached out to his family to find the woman who could continue to build the nascent nation.
Eliezer was also a man of conviction. He lived according to his master’s conviction. He too, had walked away from his past and family to head into the future. He was certain that his daughter possessed all the necessary qualities to join Isaac role in history.
There are numerous allusions in the verses to Eliezer’s wish and Abraham’s rejection. The words were never articulated. The feelings remained under the surface, and yet, Abraham still trusted Eliezer to accomplish his mission to the best of his abilities. And, Eliezer did as Abraham expected.
Despite his own wishes, without hesitation, Eliezer rose to the occasion and found the perfect wife for Isaac. He ignored his own agenda and did not allow his feelings to interfere with his mission. No wonder the Sages teach that the words of Eliezer are more precious than the Torah of Abraham’s children.
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