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Chayei Sarah

Now Avraham was old, well on in years, and Hashem had blessed Avraham with everything. And Avraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who controlled all that was his - "Place now your hand under my thigh. And I will have you swear by Hashem, G-d of heaven and G-d of earth, that you not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. Rather, to my land and to my kindred shall you go and take a wife for my son for Yitzchak". (Bereishis 24:1-4).

In this week's parashah, we learn that Avraham sent his trusty servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak. Certainly, one of the most important steps in a person's life is marrying his or her spouse, and a tremendous amount of siyata DiShemaya - Heavenly assistance - is required so that all turns out well.

From the following story, related by Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein shlita, in Borechi Nafshi, we can learn a very important lesson about what to be careful of.

A student in one of the higher grades of a girls seminar in Bnei Brak, came to the home of the Gaon, Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlita, and complained that not one girl in her class had succeeded in getting engaged. She wanted to know what the Rabbi thought about this and what he advised they do.

Reb Chaim responded that if, indeed, it was a problem affecting the entire class, then they must have sinned as a group; either towards a teacher or a mutual classmate.

The girl reported the Sage's opinion to her friends and they discussed it among themselves. They all agreed that they had never hurt any teacher's feelings but that it was quite possible that one of their classmates felt slighted by them. She was a bit of a nebech type, and, although no one ever actually insulted her, G-d forbid, they certainly did not treat her as one of their equals and she might have been insulted by that.

A group of the classes' best students was chosen to represent them and to visit the girl at home and ask her to forgive them. How surprised they were when she responded negatively and declared that she would never absolve them for the agony they had caused her!

The girls then realized how right the Rabbi had been. Contrary to their beliefs, they were dealing with a very serious incident and they understood that until it was rectified, all of their shiduchim (marriage propositions) would be "on hold." They decided that the entire class should go to her home and beg her forgiveness. While there, they also promised that they would all try their best to help her find a suitable shiduch. In addition, one of their fathers had agreed to pay $1,000 to any shadchan (matchmaker) who would help her find a suitable match!

When the offended girl realized that her classmates really regretted their behavior towards her and were seriously apologizing and were intent upon mending their ways, she told that that she forgave them with a full, sincere heart.

Two weeks later, 4 of the girls in that class got engaged!

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel