Why did Avraham consider Eliezer to be cursed if Lavan referred to him as “the blessed of HaShem”?
If the cursed cannot bond with the blessed how are we to understand the unions of Shechem and Dinah, the Queen of Shevah and Shlomo the King et al?
Why didn’t Eliezer seek a girl who would do chessed proactively before having to be asked?
He [Noach] said, â€œCursed is Cannan! He shall be a slaveâ€™s slave to his brothersâ€
â€” Bereishis 9:25
Â â€œI will compel you with an oath in the name of HaShem, L-rd of Heaven and L-rd of earth that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live.â€
â€” Bereishis 24:3
â€œMy master compelled me with an oath â€˜Do not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I reside. Instead you must go to my fatherâ€™s house, to my family, and get a wife for my son there.â€™ I [then] said to my master â€˜Perhaps the woman [from your family] will not follow me [back to Canaan]â€™? â€œ
â€” Bereishis 24:37-39
Perhaps the woman will not follow me:Â It [the word ×Ö»×œÖ·×™ (perhaps)] is written [lacking a â€œvavâ€ and may be read] ×Öµ×œÖ·×™ (to me). Eliezer had a daughter, and he sought a pretext so that Avraham would tell him, to turn to him [i.e. Eliaezers family], so that Yitzchok would marry his daughter. Avraham said to him, â€œMy son is blessed, and you are cursed [Eliezer was a descendant of Canaan who had been cursed by Noach], and an accursed one cannot bond with a blessed one.â€
â€” Rashi ibid
And Lavan said â€œCome O he who is blessed by HaShem! Why are you still standing outdoors? I have cleared the house [of what you might find offensive] and prepared a place for the camels.â€
â€” Bereishis 24:31
Why is Mt. Sinai so called? [Sinai is, alliteratively, similar to the lashon kodesh-biblical Hebrew; word for hatred] Because it was there that hatred descended to the idolaters [for they rejected the Torah that was revealed there].
â€” Shabbos 89A and Rashi ibid
The intensity of the hatred that ignorami have for Torah scholars exceeds that of the anti-Semitism that the idolaters bear towards the nation of Israel â€¦
â€” Pesachim 49B
As faces in the reflecting pool mirror one another, so too do the hearts of men.
â€” Mishlei 27:19
He [Eliezer] prayed O HaShem, L-rd of my master Avraham, be with me today and grant favor to my master Avraham â€¦ If I say to a girl â€˜Tip over your jug and let me have a drinkâ€™ and she responds â€˜drink and I will also hydrate your camelsâ€™ she will be the one whom You have designated [as a bride] for your servant Yitzchok.â€
â€” Bereishis 24:12,14
When discussing the metaphysics of matchmaking Avraham declares â€œâ€¦ an accursed one cannot bond with a blessed one.â€ Yet TeNaCâ€h-the Jewish Torah canon; is replete with desired, attempted and actual unions, both marital and extra-marital, between evil and good.Â The assertion that evil cannot unite with good, that curse cannot cleave to blessing; seems to be unsupportable in light of such matches and near-miss marriages as those of Shechem and Dinah, Potipharâ€™s wife and Yoseph, Kozbee and Zimri and Achashveirosh and Esther, et al.
Moreover Rav Tzadok, the Kohen of Lublin, observes that while, per Chazal, Avraham rejected Eliezers marriage proposal on the grounds of Eliezer being cursed the Torah quotes Lavan as describing Eliezer as â€œhe who is blessed by HaShem.â€ Â Presumably â€œthe Torah of truthâ€ would not record nonsense, hyperbole or the insincere flattery of a sycophant. If Lavans words are true it means that at some point between Avraham rejecting his shidduch proposal and Lavan greeting him, Eliezer underwent a qualitative transformation from being accursed to being blessed.
The Lubliner Kohen illuminates the dynamic of a metamorphosis at least as astonishing as that of the caterpillar-into-butterfly variety.
Evil and Good are in a state of constant and intense antipathy towards each other.Â They want no truck with one another and do not desire merger. Shlomo the king teaches in Mishlei that â€œas faces in the reflecting pool mirror one another, so too do the the hearts of men.â€ The nature of â€œemotionâ€ is cyclical and reciprocal and so, the vicious cycle of abhorrence and recrimination between Evil and Good perpetually intensifies the alienation between the two.Â But, at the risk of sounding trite, this begs the question: Who started the hostilities and estrangement?Â Whoâ€™s to blame for the inability to come together?
A close reading of Rashi, â€œan accursed (one) cannot bond with a blessed (one)â€reveals that it is evil that finds itself incapable of cleaving to good; it is not the other way around. I might add that this understanding is further supported by the gemara in Pesachim 49B that speaks of the hatred of the ignoramii and the idolatrous nations first, although it is safe to presume that the Torah Scholars and the Nation of Israel bear reciprocal loathing towards those who hate them. The passage in Shabbos 89A that pinpoints the origin of the Divine Hatred of the idolatrous nations at Sinai, only after they rejected the Torah, further bolsters this argument. Yet this makes it even more difficult to understand why it was Eliezer who initiated the proposed match between the daughter of Eliezer the cursed and the son of Avraham the blessed.
It is important to note that that Eliezer never articulated an explicit marriage proposal.Â The proposal, such as it was, was an insubstantial allusion, a mere wordplay.Â The Vilna Gaon explains that Chazal detected the subliminal marriage proposal in Eliezer employing the word ×Ö»×œÖ·×™â€“perhaps; connoting a desired outcome, rather than ×¤×Ÿâ€“lest; connoting a scenario to be avoided. Moreover the Kotzker Rebbe insightfully points out that even this mere hint of a proposed match does not appear in the Torahs narrative of the actual dialogue between Eliezer and Avraham.Â It is only later, during Eliezers repetition of that conversation to Rivkas family, that he had an epiphany and understood why he had employed the word ×Ö»×œÖ·×™ rather than ×¤×Ÿ.
Along these lines, and to address the issues of evil and good bonding, the Lubliner Kohen maintains that during his actual conversation with Avraham, Eliezer revealed his subconscious desires in what contemporaries might call a Freudian slip, because he only had blessed potential at the time, but was not quite ready to transform into a full-fledged blessed being until after his encounter with Rivka. The nascence of his transformation from cursed to blessed began as soon as he accepted the mission of his master Avraham but, as he had not yet actualized his potential for blessedness he was, as yet, incapable of verbalizing his desire to unite with and cleave to the good and blessed on an overt level.