Water, Words and Respect

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Water, Words and Respect

Our sages directed attention to the Bible’s detailed description of Abraham’s servant’s fulfillment of his mission to find a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24). Our teachers taught that “the small talk of the servants of the patriarchs is more beautiful than the Torah of their descendants” (Rashi 24:42). Each and every element of this passage is brimming with insight into those qualities for which God chose the patriarchs. In the space of this brief article let us attempt to draw some lessons from one facet of this episode.

When the servant speaks to God he describes the bride whom he is seeking for Isaac as the one who will respond to his request for water with the words, “Drink, and I will also give your camels to drink” (verse 14). Yet when Rebecca actually meets the servant she does not respond exactly as the servant expected…

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