Eliezer's Loyalty

What was going through the mind of Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, as he went to find a wife for Yitzchak?

HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l

Judaism HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l
HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l
INN:Toras Avigdor



As Rabbi Avigdor Miller taught repeatedly, "A man according to his praises"; we learn about a person from what he or she speaks about (and, in particular, praises).

From Eliezer's remark to Avraham, we learn what desire was in his heart.

At the same time, Rabbi Miller explains, we learn how great Eliezer really was.

24:5. PERHAPS THE WOMAN WOULD NOT BE WILLING TO GO AFTER ME TO THIS LAND, SHOULD I BRING BACK YOUR SON TO THE LAND FROM WHERE YOU WENT OUT ?

This seems a remarkable query. How could it enter Eliezer’s mind that Abraham could consent to allow his beloved only son (22:2) from Sarah to forsake him and to settle in another land? But Eliezer understood, and it was even more emphasized by the oath (24:3), that the choice of a proper wife for the prophet (see 24:4) Yitzchak was a matter of the highest concern.

Certainly, it was almost unthinkable to take Yitzchak to a foreign land to mingle with his wife’s kin. But Eliezer was in doubt which of the two considerations was paramount for Isaac’s future: a wife of excellence, to bear the future holy nation; or the career of aloofness and nonmixing with others (13:11, 14) which had been a very great principle in Abraham’s history.

In addition: Padan Aram was not a mere foreign land. It was “the land that you went out from." Abraham had been active in that place for many years, and he had left a lasting impression. It is certain that many disciples followed him to Canaan, but it is also certain that those that remained behind were men who had been transformed by Abraham’s teachings. (24:5)

Eliezer had at first been considered the prospective heir of Abraham (15:2-3). Not only had he been viewed as the future owner of all the property of the childless Abraham, but he was considered the future heir of Abraham’s teachings and practices. Lot had departed, and Eliezer was certainly the most proficient of Abraham’s disciples and the most capable of continuing Abraham’s system of disseminating the knowledge of Hashem.

There is no reason to believe that Eliezer was childless; therefore now that Abraham had begotten a son, we may surmise that Eliezer would have been immensely gratified if Abraham’s son would take one of Eliezer’s daughters.

In Eliezer’s "Perhaps..." was surely a thought that Yitzchak might not gain a wife from Padan-Aram and would then consider Eliezer’s daughter.

When Eliezer prayed  (24:12-14) that Hashem give him success in the mission to seek a wife for Yitzchak, we discern the greatness of this loyal and selfless servant of Hashem’s servant, whose loyalty to his teacher transcended the dearest wish of his own heart to have his own daughter married to Yitzchak. (From The Beginning)






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