Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chayei Sarah - Opposites Attract?

When we talk about husbands and wives, especially from the creation of Adam and Eve, the first husband and wife, we speak of "Ezer knegdo", a helper who is opposite him.
How can a helper be opposite her spouse? 
Does this actually give legitimacy to the adage, opposites attract? Maybe the phrase should be, opposites complete one another.
Avraham was a lover of all man, open and accepting of everyone without exception. To complete himself, our patriarch Avraham truly needed Sarah (who was proclaimed as a greater prophet than he), to see more clearly and understand that while in the big picture perhaps everyone can be loved, but not everyone can be allowed into the inner circles of one's life because of the negative influence they might cause.
Sight does not only mean the physical ability for one to see with his eyes. Sight can also be the ability to perceive meaning. When someone says, "I see," they can either mean, "I physically see this/that/you/him," or it can mean, "I understand."
In Parshat Chayei Sarah, Yitzchak, the perfect man, was the pure person who was flawless enough without a single inner or outer blemish to be offered up to the altar of Hashem. Then after the Akeida (his near sacrifice), he became an even holier man, actually elevated. Yitzchak lived on a different plane than everyone else. Not only did he lose his physical sight, perhaps his sheltered life away from the world caused him to lose his perceptive sight when it came to not-straight people. He needed someone like Rivka who saw the reality of life and people, who was raised with Laban and therefore could recognize a Laban, could understand the true nature of people. She was his ideal "ezer knegdo," an opposite who completed Yitzchak and with her traits, made him whole, for as he lived a secluded life of holiness, unable to see some of less perfect realities of the world, Rivka understood the truth about the situation and people around them and guided her husband with her eyes.
Please share Savta's Torah thoughts with our next generation, and let them enjoy this Parsha song of old:

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