In this week’s Parsha of Chaya Sarah, you are afforded a (rather long) glimpse into a significant Jewish event. Unlike today, whaen this sort of thing is kept under wraps, the Torah reveals the entire process of the shidduch ( arranged marriage) between Yitzchok and Rivkah. It even spells it out twice. First there is the account of how Avraham commissioned Eliezer his servant as his shliach, (messenger or proxy). He sent him on a mission to locate a proper match for his son. We watch the steps Eliezer took to find her, follow his journey, and share his success. A second time the entire episode is repeated as Eliezer recounts the entire story to Rivka’s family. ( instead of writing ” Eleizer told what happened” or something similar, the Torah records Eliezer’s repetition of the entire story).
The Torah is usually circumspect in the amount of words it chooses to convey a message or idea. It hides myriad laws and lessons in nuance and allusion, often times in just one letter. Yet here it disregards a terse style and opts for repetition!
And what do you gain from this “story”?
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
There are four scenes in the Torah’s account of this first wedding.Scene One: Avraham appoints Eliezer as his shliach. His mission: avoid the local riffraff and go back to his brother’s family to find Yitzchok a match. Scene Two: Eliezer has a heart to heart conversation with G-d and shares his plan of action with Him: G-d of my master Avraham, send me, I pray good speed this day, and show kindness to my master Avraham. So let it come to pass, that the young lady to whom I shall say: Take down your water pitcher, that I may drink; and she shall say: Drink, and I will give your camels also to drink; let the same be she that you have appointed for your servant. Scene Three: Instantly the plan unfolds, Rivkah arrives, gives him and his camels water. Eliezer gives her gifts and then affirms who she is ( Rashi explains he was so sure of the merits of his master Avraham, that he assumed she was the right girl, from the right family). Scene Four: The negotiations between Eliezer and the family. Curtain closes, as Rivkah and Eliezer ride back home. ( Next ACT, the wedding!)
Scene one: You do not have to pick your reason or raison d’etre for what and why you are here, what to do, and what is worth pursuing ( ” what color is your parachute”,” purpose driven life” “meaningful life” etc., etc.,) . Rather, whatever you WILL choose, or be chosen for, is prefaced by knowing you have been sent. ( in Hebrew, m’shaleach, the sender, and shliach is the one sent).
You are a shliach. And this means that everything you do, whom you meet, what you struggle with, your demons and your better side, your successes and failures, are all intertwined and based on Shlichus.
Shlichus means: your mission is less about you. It is less about even fitting into a bigger picture! It is less about fulfillment. It is less about how much you can get with as little investment. It is less about finding happiness. It is less about being great. It is less about being occupied or busy.
But it is about Making Matches!
What Do I Do Now?
How much of (adult) life is taken up with the angst of ” what do I do now”? Lose your job, what do I do now? Lose big in the market, what do I do now? Anytime something doesn’t go the way you expected, is a ” what do I do now” moment. Each ” what do I do now” moment is often accompanied by a sinking feeling of being ” on my own”. Life didn’t quite work out the way I planned. No plan to rely on, I am on my own. Lost what I had. I am on my own. Wish I had better this , more of that. Then the missing piece leaves me ” on my own”. A person I relied on let’s me down, I am on my own.
But this view is two dimensional – like pieces on a boardgame of life. Take the piece I was engaged with, and ” I am on my own again”.
Two dimensional living gives the pieces a lot of power and leverage!
But the boardgame is three dimensional.
Meshaleach (Sender) ,shliach ( you), and the pieces on the board game. And the flow of energy is not between pieces. Remove a piece off the board, the electricity still flows, so to speak – from Sender to you. You do not wait for a new piece to replace the old to make the connection for you and take you out of being on your own! You make the connection for it! The piece is alone and you are a match maker!
In truth, explains Chassidus, you yourself are a match made in Heaven! Practically speaking, you are your body! Hashem took a very Holy soul, neshamah, and connected it to what you are most familiar with – your body. And this connection is from head to toe. Mind to movement. At any and all points of time, you are a match. The soul makes the match between G-d and body. The soul is the shliach. The shlichus: feel the shliach and the m’shaleach more and more.
The soul and body – together ( that means you!) is also a shliach. And the shlichus is once again, to make a match – bring light, soul, kindness, righteousness, to all the pieces on the boardgame that come your way! The pieces need you (not the other way around!) So make a match, connecting them to the one who sent both of you!
A beautiful thing evolves when you see life as Shlichus. No piece is alone. Each piece on the boardgame is not simply a part of a large picture. It is the large picture itself. Since we are all shluchim, says, the Torah of Chassidus, and the game itself is making matches, then the one piece at the time you and it are together, is the whole picture. Not just a means to an end, or greater goal!
Does the degree of meaningfulness fluctuate with how many and how global its impact? Is your corner of life less meaningful in the ” bigger picture” than your neighbor who has a greater sphere of influence?
Not to your children! Not to your spouse! And certainly not to theMeshaleach, the sender! True, together as one, the connections we each make, add up to a final end result. But each connection is theshlichus itself. Make a connection and rejoice!
This idea is seen in a Gematria made famous by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Shliach, is the same gematria, mathematical Hebrew equivalent, as Sameach – Joy. For Shliach means each piece is crucial, Make the connection, the shlichus, and voila, Sameach – joy. A Match Made in Heaven
If you are indeed on Shlichus, then move to Scene Two. Connect the pieces to the Sender.
You are dealt a set of pieces on your board. They need to line up properly in order to bring a successful result. Never, however, are the pieces or you, outside of “Shlichus”. So, says Eliezer, if this is a Shlichus that my Master wants, then certainly his Master wants it too! So Eliezer negotiate with the Master of the gameboard. I am going to do my part, as I see it, with the talents ( from head to toe) that You have given me.
( shlichus of mind and body match). The next question is slippery. You must make sure you really mean this: Isn’t it incumbent on you to make Your shlichus work? ( this is less about me and more about You). So, I will do x, y, and zee. You make it happen.
Connecting the Sender to the pieces is itself making a Match.
If you are sincerely clear that what you are to do, and the steps you take to do them (given what you have in talent and ability) is ” SHLICHUS” , then assume total trust in the outcome. We do not mean a simple mantra of ” think positive” and some law of attraction will make it happen. Rather, trust that the steps ahead ( the other pieces on the board that are about to appear) will unfold ahead of you because they are also part of the Shlichus ( refer back to step Two). As Eliezer did: he gave Rivkah engagement gifts after she gave him and his camels water AND THEN asked who she was ( the wrong family would disqualify her as shidduch potential for Yitzchok) . Now that is trust that the pieces indeed fall in place!
So you make it. Success! There remains one last step: expand your players! Sure, Eliezer made the right moves. Rivkah came to the well at the right time. But with Rivkah comes her FaceBook friends too! The shlichus rolls on! Eleizer involve her parents, her family, setting more pieces in motion! ( a obvious sign that you are not following the Shlichus paradigm: you stop with satisfaction when you achieve a goal. For, as the tasks at hand become your thing and not theMeshaleach, then there is a limit to them. My age limits me. My income limits me. I. I. I. And this satisfies me! When the steps in your life are the Meshaleach – and face it, He is with out limit) then the SHLICHUS doesn’t stop. Ever.
Another Gematria made famous by the Rebbe: Shliach with the number ten ( a yud) equals Moshiach!
Moshiach is when the Matchmaking is complete. The Ultimate Shidduch. Use the ten powers you possess and do so with joy ( sameach) and make as many matches as possible, (shlichus) and you will be the Matchmaker – between an entire world and Moshiach!
Matchmake today! Learn On! Light On! Moshiach On!