Monday, October 21, 2013

TorahMama: Chaye Sarah

Eliezer, Abraham's oldest servant, is sent to find a wife for Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham doesn't give him a lot of criteria, so Eliezer must determine on his own what qualities are worthy in Isaac's wife. He determines for himself that, upon his arrival at the communal well, he will ask a young woman to draw water for him. Whichever young woman not only agrees but also offers to draw water for his camels will be the right one to approach on Isaac's behalf.

Eliezer realizes that the "right" person for Isaac is one who is not only kind to strangers but goes above and beyond on their behalf. (It's a lot of work to draw enough water for camels!) Eliezer holds onto the ideals that we, as parents, hope for all of our children's relationships. We hope that they will choose friends and companions who are willing to go the extra mile, who are considerate and kind, who share goodness and bring our children up, not down. And of course, we also read this story and imagine the other side -- if it were our children being tested at the well, would they rise to the occasion? If my son or daughter were asked by a stranger for water, I sincerely hope that they would say, "of course. And how about some for your camels?" On its face, this is a story about finding a partner for Isaac. But deep inside, it is about the kind of people that we want our children to be, it is the kind of story about the kind of friends we want our children to be and the kind of people with whom we want to surround ourselves.

TorahMama is my weekly attempt to talk about the Torah portion from a parenting perspective....

1 comment:

rbarenblat said...

Beautiful -- I love this meditation on this week's parsha. (And, thank you for giving me some positive ways to think about it; this week I seem to be stuck in a kind of negative mindset where I reread the parsha and all I can think of is the burialplace and its contemporary political implications.)