This week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sara, recounts the very first marriage match in the Torah.
Avraham sent Eliezer, his faithful servant, to his relatives in Mesopotamia, where Eliezer was destined to meet Rikva, Yitzchak’s intended.
Rashi, the great Torah commentator, explains that Eliezer’s actual journey was miraculous.
“I have come today,” Eliezer declared to Rikva’s father and brother, Betuel and Lavan. “Today I set out, and today I arrived,” comments Rashi, noting that Eliezer reached his destination — a journey of 17 days in ancient times — on the very day he embarked.
Why was it necessary for G-d to make a special miracle for Eliezer? Furthermore, why did Eliezer find it necessary to mention it to Betuel and Lavan?
Rivka, Matriarch of the Jewish people, is described in the Midrash as “a rose among the thorns.” Righteous and pure, Rivka lived the first few years of her life surrounded by “thorns,” the wicked Betuel and Lavan.
As anyone who has plucked a rose knows, it is not easy to free the rose from its prickly surroundings. Indeed, the thorns exist solely in the merit of the rose, for it is because of the rose that the gardener cultivates and nurtures the plant.
Similarly, the holy Zohar describes the spiritual struggle exerted by the forces of evil against the pure and G-dly soul of the Jew. For, like the thorns, these forces derive their sustenance precisely in the presence of the greatest holiness.
Betuel and Lavan rightly understood that it was in Rivka’s merit that their household had been blessed, and were reluctant to allow her to leave.
For the first three years of her life, too young to be successfully transplanted to the holy environment in which she belonged, Rikva was surrounded by unholiness.
On the very day she turned three, when — according to Jewish law she could be betrothed — Abraham sensed that the proper time had arrived to free the rose from its prickly environment.
Eliezer was dispatched without delay, and a miracle was wrought so that Rikva would not have to spend even one extra moment in an improper atmosphere.
Eliezer’s task was to convince Betuel and Lavan that G-d had destined Rivka to be Isaac’s wife, and that they had no power to prevent her departure.
“I have come today!” he declared, knowing that they would try to delay her leaving. “Destiny cannot wait! Today I have come, for I must bring her back with me at once!”
“The deeds of the fathers provide instruction for their sons,” our Sages teach.
From Eliezer’s journey we learn that when the moment for Redemption arrives, it cannot be delayed for even one second.
If need be, miracles will be wrought to ensure that the Redemption occurs at exactly the proper time.
We must therefore not be disheartened by the length of our present Exile, for just as the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt “on the selfsame day” when the exact moment for liberation arrived, the Final Redemption with Moshiach will likewise take place immediately and without delay at the proper time, speedily in our days. Moshiach NOW!!!