Eliezer rose to new heights when he accepted his mission. (See An Appreciation of Eliezer) He was lifted into a new reality and was able to travel long distances in just moments. He tasted his own experience of the Infinite, not as an observer of Abraham, but as himself. He knew that God was guiding him. Abraham had promised that an angel would assist him in fulfilling his mission. Yet, he prayed for God’s help, and, even more remarkably, used his own judgment rather than simply rely on his special help.
Eliezer determined on his own that the proper wife for Isaac would practice Chesed – kindness – almost equal to Abraham’s. “With her I will know that you did kindness with my master Abraham.”
Eliezer determined that there was only one thing that could prove God’s kindness to his master. Abraham was wealthy, powerful, honored, and had a son when he was 100 years old. None of that would convince Eliezer that God had done kindness to Abraham.
He decided for which qualities to look and he decided that his success would be the only absolute proof of God’s kindness. His magical journey was not enough, nor was the presence of an angel at his side. How did Eliezer know?
He was convinced that Chesed can be qualified as successful only if it led to more Chesed in the future. Eliezer determined that all of God’s Chesed to Abraham could only be determined as true if Eliezer succeeded in finding a woman who would ensure that Chesed would continue as a primary quality of this family and nation.
We often feel good after performing a kindness. Eliezer reminds us to hesitate before rejoicing in our success: “Wait and see,” says Eliezer, “if your Chesed leads to more. Only then will you know that your kindness was successful.”
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