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Daily Aliya for Chaye Sarah, Shlishi (3rd Aliya)

Aliya Summary: The servant (Eliezer) set out for his master’s homeland and evening time found him beside the city well. He prayed for success in his mission, and asked for a heavenly sign to confirm his choice of a girl for Isaac. He would ask a maiden for a drink of water, and the one who would answer: “Certainly, and I’ll also give your camels to drink as well,” would be the proper choice for Isaac. Immediately a young lady approached and in response to the servant’s request for a drink, she offered to give his camels to drink too. Upon questioning her, he discovered that she was Avraham’s great-niece, Rivka.

When Eliezer saw that Rivka offered to give the camels water, the Passuk says that he was “astonished at her”. Why was he so astonished? Was it her kindness? If anything, Eliezer knew all about kindness, having devoted himself so completely to fulfilling his master’s wishes that the story doesn’t even include his name! Maybe what was so astonishing about Rivka is that she was so kind despite her surroundings (living with Lavan), while Eliezer was kind because of his surroundings (living with Avraham). Either way, there are always new ways to be kind to others, as both people in this Aliya prove.