Chayei Sarah: The Mother-in-Law as Supreme Model



In the first documented courting process in history, we read that Isaac compared Rebecca to his mother, Sarah. Indeed, we are told that only when Isaac was sure that Rebecca emulated his mother was he certain that she was the one.

Now that flies in the face of modern conventional wisdom. Husbands of the world know to never, ever, compare their wives to their mothers, nor their mothers to their wives. Indeed, such comparisons between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law can produce more friction than a nuclear reactor.

So where did Isaac go wrong – or should we say, where did he go right?

The answer has to do with the three qualities one should be looking for in a potential spouse, to ensure an eternal bond: 1) the quality of light, 2) the quality of transformation, and 3) the quality of purity.

Look for someone who: 1) will fill your home with light; 2) has the ability to transform raw material into an elevated blessing; 3) is committed to building a pure and sacred relationship with you, as per G-d’s instructions.

Mazal Tov – may your, or your children’s marriage, be an everlasting edifice!


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