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Why is the Shidduch of Yitzhak and Jacob Different?

(The Shidduch is a system of matchmaking in which Jewish singles are introduced to one another)

The Shidduch of Yitzhak

Genesis 24:67

וַיְבִאֶ֣הָ יִצְחָ֗ק הָאֹ֙הֱלָה֙ שָׂרָ֣ה אִמּ֔וֹ וַיִּקַּ֧ח אֶת־רִבְקָ֛ה וַתְּהִי־ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּׁ֖ה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶ֑הָ וַיִּנָּחֵ֥ם יִצְחָ֖ק אַחֲרֵ֥י אִמּֽוֹ׃

"Yitzhak brought her into the tent of Sara his mother; he took Rivka and she became his wife, and he loved her. Thus was Yitzhak comforted after his mother."

Yitzhak didn't have to do much for it, but there was a whole process involved.

Abraham sending out his servant Eliezer and Eliezer figuring out a good plan to find the best girl for Yitzhak. And that good plan was to pray to HaShem and he said:

"O HaShem, G-d of my lord Avraham, pray let it happen today for me, and deal in loyalty with my lord Avraham! Here, I have stationed myself by the water spring as the women of the town go out to draw water. May it be that the maiden to whom I say: Pray lower your pitcher that I may drink, and she says: Drink, and I will also give your camels to drink— let her be the one whom you have decided on for your servant, for Yitzhak, by means of her may I know that you have dealt in loyalty with my lord."(Genesis 24;12-14)

Through his prayer, Eliezer succeeded in his task.

The Shidduch of Jakob

Jakob made his way to Haran to his uncle Laban with his two daughters Leah and Rachel. It had been decided and known that Leah would marry Esau and Rachel would marry Jacob. Jacob went there, to put it bluntly, with a form of self-confidence to claim Rachel. But instead, he had to work hard for 7 years for Rachel, initially receiving Lea instead of Rachel and having to work hard for another 7 years.

What Can we Learn from this Difference?

Sometimes we start a task or assignment with the best of intentions - even for Heaven's sake - and find that we get stuck.

It happened to me a while back. So many things I wanted to get done but I literally had no time, every minute of the day was scheduled full. Instead of less work, more work came my way. I tried to think of solutions on my own, but they didn't help. I completely lost my structure and balance.

Then I turned to HaShem in prayer, if He sent more work, He should also give more time. The day still has 24 hours, but the work I wanted to do I get done, even finished in peace. I shouldn't have been surprised, but was. How could a minute of one day be longer than a minute of another day, wasn't a minute just a minute?

But HaShem is beyond place and time and can give time where it is used for Him. When I realised that...even more work came...but now I don't panic, I don't stress, it will be fine!

So we should not take things for granted or think that we can do it ourselves, but when we have a task, pray to HaShem, as Eliezer did, for help and ways to achieve the right goal.

Source: Thanks to Dr N. Moskowitz for the inspiration


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.

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