In this week’s Parshah, Chaya Sarah, we are introduced to the idea of Jewish Matchmaking. It can be said that the term “a match made in heaven” was coined this week, in the times of Abraham.
Abraham sends his servant, Eliezer, with gifts of jewelry, to find a match for his beloved son, Yitzchak (Isaac). Avraham did not know who it would be, or where she would come from, but he trusted in G-d, whom he had recently accepted as creator of the world.
Who would think? Avraham our famed forefather would take the daughter of Betuel, who had not yet accepted G-d. Imagine it like this: The son of a great Hassidic Rebbi taking the daughter of Christopher Hitchens as his wife. Unfathomable!
How can we explain this? And in more understandable terminology, how can we understand the “art of the Shidduch” (Jewish matchmaking).
Everyone has heard the word Bashert. What does it mean? In this Parshah we are taught the idea of Bashert in its purest form.
Take Isaac. He was a JFB (Jew from birth). He was raised in a home of Jewish holiness, and spirituality, surrounded by Godliness.
Rivkah (Rebecca) on the other hand, was the daughter of the pagan. Betuel and sister of the infamous Laban, who was notorious for his dishonorable character. She was raised in Charan which was called “the place of G‑d’s wrath.” The culture clash must have been entertaining to say the least.
The shadchan (matchmaker) who thought this one up certainly had a very unique sense of humor! It would be very difficult to find two people from more different environments. However, it was Bashert. They were made for each other!
This shows the complete faith and trust Avraham had in G-d. He knew that G-d would present the right maiden for his son, Yitzchak. He didn’t even question. Regardless of who Betuel or his family was, Avraham accepted Rivkah for who she was and how she completed Yitzchak.
Avraham believed. In today’s day, many groups within Judaism still implement the Shidduch system. And it still works! People come together from across the globe, and from many varying backgrounds. They create homes based on the same fundamentals that the home of Yitzchak and Rivkah was built upon.
The blessings of this week’s Parshah, and the merit of first Shidduch should be bestowed upon all who are searching for their own Bashert! May we merit celebrating the unions of many Jewish couples!