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Mazal Tov!

Mazal Tov! This week with Hashem's help we were blessed with a beautiful daughter who was named Rivkah at the reading of the Torah. Mother and daughter are doing well, and somehow I'm managing as well.

The marriage of the original Rivkah (Rebbeca) to our forefather Yitzchok (Isaac), is recounted in depth in the Torah, in fact much of the story is repeated by Eliezer, servant of Avraham and Matchmaker extraordinaire, in his attempt to close the deal. What is so special about this marriage that it needs to be spelled out in such detail?

You see Yitzchok had everything going for him, his father was the founder of monotheism, angels were a common sight in his home, and he even was brought as an offering to G-d during the binding of Isaac. He was the epitome of spiritual development. Rivkah on the other hand, was raised in the house of wicked people. Her father was so greedy he was willing to jeopardize his daughters future, and her brother Lavan is arguably the greatest conman of all time. Our sages describe Rivkah as a Rose among thorns, despite her surroundings with no role models or formal education, she becomes the heir to Sarah's legacy and shapes the Jewish nation.

The purpose of creation is to make this world with all of it's problems a dwelling place for G-d. Yitzchok's marriage to Rivkah symbolizes the potential of making this world with all its darkness, a place that G-d can call home. So really the story of their union is the story of all of us, how through our deeds we can and must improve our surroundings.

During these trying times, many have tried to write off this period of time until things return to "normal" as a total loss. Some use this as a reason not to do things with full effort. However RIvkah teaches us a lesson, even in the worst circumstances we cannot merely survive, we must thrive. And in fact that is exactly why we were put on this earth, to be that rose among the thorns that can achieve spiritually in any and all circumstances.

May it be Hashems will, that the newest addition to Jewish community of Northern Minnesota, Rivkah, be a Rose and shining example to her family, community, and the entire Jewish nation.

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