In this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, Abraham sends his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac.
“And [Eliezer] departed, having all goodly things of his master in his hand.” Our Sages explain that Abraham entrusted Eliezer with all of his substantial wealth in order to impress the family of the prospective bride and obtain their agreement to the match.
This in itself was an unusual occurrence. While it is not at all extraordinary for a father to share his riches with his children during his lifetime, why was it necessary for Abraham to put all of his wealth at Isaac’s disposal?
Furthermore, Abraham was an extremely wealthy man; surely sending Eliezer on his mission with just a portion of his riches would have been enough to sufficiently impress Rebecca’s family.
The answer lies in the fact that this was not to be just any marriage of two individuals. Rather, the union of Isaac and Rebecca was the first Jewish marriage after the mitzvah of circumcision was given. Thus, their union represented the perpetuation of the Jewish people in holiness for all time.
By committing all of his wealth to this end, Abraham thus underscored the tremendous import and significance of this marriage. For not only were all his material assets involved; Abraham, the Patriarch of the Jewish people, invested his very essence in finding the ideal wife for his son.
Chasidut explains that the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca is symbolic of the union between the soul and the physical body.
Geographically, Isaac was in the holy land of Israel; moreover, he himself had acquired an additional measure of holiness when he demonstrated his willingness to be offered as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. Rebecca, on the other hand, lived outside the boundaries of the Holy Land, and indeed spent the first three years of her life among evil people, as our Sages put it, “like a rose among thorns.” Thus their marriage exemplified the very objective of the creation itself: the joining of the spiritual and physical realms, thereby transforming our material world into a dwelling for G-d.
It is for this reason that the Torah is so explicit and provides so many details about Eliezer’s mission, for indeed, it is the mission of us all. In truth, G-d gives every Jew “all goodly things of his Master” to ensure our success.
Every subsequent generation represents another step toward our ultimate goal – the long-awaited Redemption. May we merit this immediately.