> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Kindness Hacks

Rivka's Lessons in Kindness

Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18 )

by Shoshanna Dresner

Eliezer is on the hunt for a wife for Yitzchak. Someone who would be worthy of becoming a matriarch of the Jewish people.

He understands that for this position it must be a woman who would be a role model in the area of chesed, loving-kindness.

He found Rivka.

Looking at Rivka’s kindness teaches us invaluable lessons in this area.

DO MORE THAN THE MINIMUM: Someone who loves to give, will do more than he/she is asked to do. Eliezer only asked for water for himself, but Rivka went above and beyond by providing for the camels too.

ACT WITH MODESTY: Give with pure intentions rather than for validation from others. Rivka only mentioned after giving Eliezer a drink that she would also give the camels. Had she said all her intentions at the beginning it would have been conceited. (Rabbi S R Hirsch)

BE PROACTIVE: If you are able to help people in some way, let people know. While others would hide their jugs to avoid the bother of lending them out, Rivka carried hers on her shoulder so that people might ask to borrow it. (Tiferes Yonoson)

The way that Rivka acted shows that she was someone who truly loved kindness. She is described as running, to do something she wasn’t even asked to do!

Embedded into our spiritual genetics is this character trait of chesed, kindness. We can learn from Rivka, to be people who personify the trait of giving to the highest level. People who look for opportunities to give, and when granted them perform them with enthusiasm and grace.

Ideas adapted from Love Your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin

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