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The Camel Test*

November 9, 2012

In the Biblical story of Rebecca** the reader is introduced to a role model for us all.

Abraham sent Eliezer to the city of Charan with a task, “Find a suitable wife for my son, Isaac.” Eliezer wonders how he will be able to identify a woman for a man as good as Isaac. He decides that when he gets to Charan he will go to the watering well.  When he sees a young woman he will ask her for a sip of water. The young woman he would choose would be the one who not only gave him a sip, but offered water for his camels as well.

One day he arrived at the well where he met Rebecca. He asked her for a sip of water from her jug. She didn’t question that even though he was traveling with several able-bodied men who could have gotten water from the well for him, instead she immediately said yes. When he finished drinking from her jug, she asked if she could then give water to his camels. She emptied the remainder of her jug into the trough for the camels and proceeded to the well to re-fill the jug and pour more water into the trough. She was born of nobility and wasn’t used to fetching water from the well, yet that didn’t hold her back. Eliezer then knew that she was the one. She not only performed an act of kindness by giving water to Eliezer, she voluntarily did more than asked by giving to the camels.

From her, we can all learn to do more than give a hand but rather to extend our hand. We can do more than what we think is required of us. We can do more than just enough. Life presents these tests (opportunities) all the time. They might not look like a camel, so we must keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to know when we meet someone who is thirsty.

“The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.” – Dr. Jonas Salk

“If good is good, is better not better”? – Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch

*Revised from the originally posted 11/22/11

**Genesis 24.1-24.61

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