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A Timely Torah Message By Shaya Gross

A Perfect Relationship

[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much. A special thank you to Aaron Friedman for always looking over the divrei torah.] 

Parshas Chayei Sara tells the story of Avraham’s assistant, Eliezer, being charged with finding a wife for Yitzchak. Eliezer rationalizes that whichever girl will offer to draw water for Eliezer and his camels is destined to be Yitzchak’s wife.

Rav Moshe Feinstein asks, once Eliezer saw the water in the well rise for Rivka, which was a clear miracle that proved that she was obviously very righteous, what was the purpose of testing her with her getting water for him and the animals? Why did Eliezer need to continue testing her?

Based on the following I heard from my dear friend Rav Yonah Sklare, I think we can answer Rav Moshe’s question.

The Seforim bring down a “rule” that men are more connected to the attribute of chesed, and women are more connected to the attribute of Gevura. On a simple level, chesed is loving kindness, and Gevura is being strict and exacting. On a deeper level, chesed is more about inspiration, being focused, and thinking the abstract, which is why men study and learn in depth the abstract concepts of Torah, whereas Gevura is being more practical and pragmatic, as we see women can juggle many different tasks together like taking care of all the kids and household needs, etc…

One exception to the above “rule” was Yitzchak. Yitzchak had the attribute of Gevura. Therefore, his wife Rivkah needed to “specialize” in the other midah of chesed. [I think we see from here that it’s very important that husbands and wives have in some regards different midos/personalities in order for there to be a healthy balance in their children. [Maybe this is one of the reasons why you can’t marry a relative like a sibling because they tend to be very similar.]

There are 3 times in Tanach where a Shidduch took place by a spring of water. The first one was Yitzchak’s shidduch with Rivka, the second was Yaakov and Rochel, and the third was Moshe and Tzipporah. In two of the three instances [Yaakov and Moshe], it was the man helping the woman. Whereas by Rivka, she was helping Eliezer. Why the difference? The reason for that is very simple, usually it’s the man with the mida of chesed, so with Yaakov and Moshe, they did the chesed, whereas by Rivka/Yitzchak, they had the opposite midos, Yitzchak had Gevura and Rivka had Chesed, so she was the one helping and doing the chesed!

Using this idea, I believe we can answer Rav Moshe Feinstein’s question. He asked that once Eliezer witnessed the open miracle of the water rising for Rivka and proving she was obviously very righteous, what then was the purpose of testing her with her getting water for him and the animals?

The answer is, Eliezer realized she was a tzadeikis, but in order to be the proper shidduch for Yitzchak she would need to have the mida of chesed. Hence, he tested her to see if she was a true baalas chesed!

{Editor’s note: I just want to briefly touch upon what Shaya mentioned and that is about husbands and wives having different personalities. Besides for the fact that children born from them will have a healthy balance, I think that there is another aspect and that is to compliment their relationship. Every person is created with many strengths and weaknesses to be able to complete his or her personal role in this world. But due to each person’s unique role, they are not given certain qualities in the world, and therefore, Hashem says this person is not going to have this quality, so let Me give him or her a partner who has that personality/quality. In essence, Hashem made a husband and wife different (and very often opposites) in order for each to compliment what the other is lacking.

However, not only is this applicable to marriage, but it is true regarding other relationships as well. One partner has something the other partner lacks, and through each partner’s contribution, they are able to compliment each other.

Let us think about this idea and next time we may be bothered by the way a spouse/partner may act, remember that perhaps Hashem made him/her that way in order to be able to facilitate and strengthen the bond with each other and to help compliment each other for what we are lacking.
Have a great Shabbos!}

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