Parshat Chayei Sara

In this week’s Parsha, a tremendous amount of real estate – 67 Psukim! –  is spent on Avraham’s servant Eliezer and his journey to find a bride for Yitzchak.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe has a beautiful vort on this episode. He points out that the first marriage in the Torah is  Adam to Eve. “Theirs, of course, was a marriage wholly made in Heaven: G‑d Himself created the bride, perfumed and bejeweled her, and presented her to the groom,” says Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

The story of Avraham’s servant Eliezer’s search for a wife for Yitzchak (Rivkah) however, represents the first time that the Torah relates a marriage that is the result of human endeavor.  The Torah details the story of the Shidduch (match) which involves very familiar elements of a traditional match; a matchmaker (Eliezer), assessment of the bride’s character, her family background, and the dowry negotiations.

The Rebbe points out that the Torah is often economical in its wording. A single word can be the source for myriad laws and guidelines. The lavish attention to detail in this story however, with its unusual repetition (Eliezer re-telling the story to Rivkah’s parents) offers an important guide to our own approach to marriage, as the Rebbe points out “both in the conventional sense as the union of two human beings, and in the cosmic sense as the relationship between G‑d and man.”

For this week’s recipe, I drew (!) on Eliezer’s test for a bride of character – at the well. He davens to Hashem that if he asks the right girl for water she’ll immediately offer to feed his camels too. Rivkah appeared immediately. The recipe? Water!

Bereishit 24:14 And it will be, [that] the maiden to whom I will say, 'Lower your pitcher and I will drink,' and she will say, 'Drink, and I will also water your camels,' her have You designated for Your servant, for Isaac, and through her may I know that You have performed loving kindness with my master."

Bereishit 24:14 And it will be, [that] the maiden to whom I will say, ‘Lower your pitcher and I will drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels,’ her have You designated for Your servant, for Isaac, and through her may I know that You have performed loving kindness with my master.”

Bereishit 24: 13 Behold, I am standing by the water fountain, and the daughters of the city are coming out to draw water.

Bereishit 24: 13 Behold, I am standing by the water fountain, and the daughters of the city are coming out to draw water.

Water Infusions:

For the first combination I used one lime, one clementine and a sprig of mint. Use a wooden spoon to ‘grind’ it a bit on the bottom of the pitcher in order to release the flavours.

For the second combination is used five strawberries, half a lemon, and a sprig of mint, grinding some of the fruit to release the flavours.

Add ice cubes. Be creative. Add rosemary, cucumbers, grapefruit, or whatever catches your fancy. 

Enjoy!

B’tayavon and have a great Shabbos.

 

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