"Then Lavan and Besuel answered and they said: The thing comes from the Hashem; we cannot speak to you bad or good.” (Gen. 24:50)
When Eliezer meets Rivka’s brother and father, he tells them the entire story of how he chose Rivkah to be Yitzchak’s wife. Our Sages of Blessed Memory explain that the reason Eliezer recounted the story in detail is to show Lavan and Besuel that this match was ordained by G-d. This verse is the acknowledgement of Lavan and Besuel that the match truly is Divinely ordained and that they cannot go against G-d's wishes. As simple as this verse seems, it raises a very obvious question: why would a devout idolater and master of the black arts such as Laban acknowledge the existence of G-d? It is totally out of character for him. If he does not even believe in G-d, why acknowledge that He has any powers whatsoever?
I believe that the Torah is trying to give us a very simple and unambiguous message. The Divine Providence in this case was so obvious, that even someone like Lavan could hardly fail to recognize it. G-d's involvement was as plain to Lavan as the nose on his own face. There are times that the presence of G-d is hidden. For example, the Megillas Esther does not use G-d's name to signify that the miracle was 'hidden'. When the presence of G-d is not slapping us in the face, it is easy for someone who does not want to follow His commandments to say that G-d does not exist or if, He does exist, He isn't really in charge. Other times, the Divine Presence is so evident, that anyone with an ounce of sense acknowledges G-d.
This is especially important in today's world. We have reached an age of 'intellectual religion' where WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) has become the new 'g-d'. We have become so 'enlightened' that it has become increasingly harder to believe in things that we cannot see with our own two eyes. This makes it much easier to doubt the existence of G-d. This Parsha is reminding us that sometimes Hashem may not show His face and sometimes He will make His presence so obvious that even an idolater will have to admit He is real and in charge of the entire universe. Regardless, we have an obligation to continue to believe that He is real, that He is in charge, and that He has a plan for every single one of us. May it be the G-d’s Will that He strengthen our faith and reveal Himself to us in such a way that there will be no question as to who the true Boss is.
Insight into the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Leibel Agar
Now You See it, Now You Don't
Parshas Chayei Sarah
Dear Beth Jacob Congregants –
With cautious optimism and anticipation, the Board of Directors at Beth Jacob Congregation has decided to reopen for Shabbat services on Saturday, June 20, 2020. Although this is the “until further notice” update we have all eagerly awaited, please know that it comes with many well thought-out considerations. These considerations are to ensure you, our beloved congregants, can come to Shul and prayer, secure in the knowledge that all has been done to ensure your safety, health, and comfort during the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. As diligently as the Board has worked to develop the below guidelines, is the same level of diligence the Board requests and insists upon for congregant adherence to them. Please note the following, and your complete cooperation is appreciated and expected:
By following the above religiously, we will all be upholding one of the greatest religious beliefs of Judaism, that of the preservation of life . . . so, l’chaim!
Beth Jacob Congregation Board of Directors
Your are invited to enjoy Jewish services with a small, hamish congregation.
We offer Shabbos, and Yom Tovim services following orthodox halacha, using Artscroll prayer books, all in a Traditional, non-mechitza setting.
Our weekly Shabbat service is held on Saturday mornings at 9:30 AM.
We would love to meet you with you.
Please feel free to join us.