“No flour, no Torah; no Torah, no flour.” – Pirkei Avot 3:21
Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he took Rebekah as his wife. Isaac loved her, and thus found comfort after his mother’s death. – Genesis 24:67
Isaac, the son of Sarah and Abraham, remains single well into adulthood. Only after his mother’s death, does his father seek to arrange his marriage. Rebekah, who will become his wife, is Isaac’s paternal first-cousin once removed. Abraham is adamant that his son remain with him, so she leaves her natal family to join his extended household.
Rebekah’s active assent to their marriage contrasts with Isaac’s passivity. When Rebekah is asked if she consents to go with Abraham’s servant to become Isaac’s wife, she answers affirmatively, “I will” (Gen 24:59). Isaac, hearing the story of how Rebekah was chosen for him, remains silent. The first thing that he does is bring her into the empty tent that had been his mother’s as if to show her in space what his internal state precludes him from expressing verbally. That is, he is enveloped by grief.
Once married, Isaac comes to love Rebekah. Finding comfort in his love for his wife, his suffering is relieved. Listen closely to hear the echo of God’s love for Creation manifest in the love of one human being for another:
“This one at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh….” (Gen 1:23)
"The Torah begins and ends with acts of loving kindness."
– Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 14aTake me to the Torah Morsels Archive