Throughout his commentary on this week’s parsha, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov devotes several teachings to the hidden connection between Rivka and Avraham Avinu. While, on the surface, Avraham was Rivka’s great-uncle (the brother of her grandfather, Nachor), the tzaddik teaches that their spiritual bond ran very deep.

One of the common themes in sefer Kedushas Levi is the idea that a Jew’s actions have an enormous impact on the entirety of creation. Each Torah thought, word of prayer, mitzvah, or act of kindness causes a stream of blessing from the upper realms to flow down upon creation. It goes without saying that the greater the soul, the broader the impact his or her actions will have, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

It is well known that Avraham Avinu served as the chariot for the divine trait of Chessed, Loving-Kindness. However, the extent of the impact caused by his toil in this area of avodas Hashem is lesser known. Based on inference presented by the passive voice of the verse which states that Rivka was born to Besuel, (“Yuldah l’Besuel”), the Berditchover teaches that although Besuel fathered Rivka in a biological sense, it was Avraham, with his mighty acts of kindness, who truly “gave birth” to Rivka’s soul – impacting the foundation of her personality and instilling the spirit of Chessed deep within her spiritual essence.

In order to bring Yaakov Avinu, who served as a chariot for the trait of Tiferes, (a balance between kindness and harsh-judgement) into the world, Yitzchak, whose trait was Gevurah, harsh-judgement, needed to be paired with a woman who mirrored his father’s trait of Chessed. Therefore, Eliezer’s test involved water- the basic physical symbol for Chessed – and revolved around an act of kindness for the purpose of locating the maiden who embodied his master’s spirit. He says to Hashem, “Ubah”: “If You allow this test to emerge successful, and I am able to find a match for Yitzchak, “eidah ki asisah chessed”: I will know that the kindness done for me is bound, “im adoni”: with the spirit of my master, Avraham.”

In addition to their both involving the act of providing sustenance to travelers, the Torah’s description of Rivka’s “running”, “hurrying” (24:20), and referring to Eliezer as her master (24:18) when providing him with water, is remarkably similar to that of Avraham’s kindness toward the angels in last week’s parsha, where he “hurries” (18:6), “runs” (18:7) and refers to them as his master (18:2) as well. This further supports the idea that Avraham and Rivka shared a unique and deep-seated spiritual bond. It was this relationship that enabled Yaakov Avinu, the balanced trait of Tiferes to emerge from both Yitzchak’s Gevurah and Avraham’s Chessed which lived on through the soul of his mother, Rivka, who, massively impacted by Avraham’s actions, was considered his spiritual daughter.

A Jew’s positive actions can affect creation in a wondrous way, subtly transforming lives all over the globe!

Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov
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R’ Yaakov Klein is the founder of the Lost Princess Initiative, an author, musician, and lecturer devoted to sharing the inner light of Torah through his books, music, and lectures.

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