Valuing Kindness

Abraham and Rebecca, known for their kindness, are strong role models for us.

Print this page Print this page

The commentary states that ten camels would consume at least 140 gallons of water. This would be a very strenuous undertaking for Rebekah--made more remarkable by the way she chose to do this task.

The Theme of Kindness

The Kedushat Levi suggests that Rebekah consciously chose not to give water to the camels one by one, for she would not want to choose which one to give first and cause the others to wait. Rather, Rebekah chose to keep running to the well, drawing water, and pouring the water into the trough, so that all the camels could drink at once. Physically, this was a much more demanding way to provide water for the camels.

These acts of supreme kindness, acts of giving more than was asked of her, were enough to satisfy Eliezer that God had intervened and showed him Isaac's future bride and the mother of the People of Israel.

The word hesed, which means kindness, is repeated throughout this portion. Abraham is known for his great kindness. It was this characteristic that he valued most and wanted passed on in his family.

I would hope that on this Shabbat, we would rededicate ourselves to "acts of kindness" toward our family, friends, strangers, and especially each other. Let’s practice “random acts of kindness,” without being asked and by expecting nothing in return. It will make a difference.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Bernie Kimberg is the Chief Operating Officer at Westchester Jewish Community Services.