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To Be Ourselves

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Credentials, college degrees and public relations are not everything in life. This we can learn from Eliezer, Avraham’s servant. Avraham sends him to find a bride for Yitzchak and our commentators learn many things from how Eliezer acts on his mission to find Rivka. Rav Tzvi Meir Zilberberg reflects on the manner in which Eliezer introduces himself to Rivka’s family: “And he (Eliezer) said: I am Avraham’s servant.” Here there is humility, modesty, and self-deprecation. Eliezer could have said: “I am the special emissary of Avraham, in charge of spousal procurement” or “I am the senior associate and confidant of Avraham” or “I am the majordomo of Avraham’s tent and his chief strategist.” Instead, he chooses to simply tell the truth, even if it does not sound impressive: "I am Avraham’s servant."
In the morning prayer, writes Rav Zilberberg, we say "and may we be and may our children be... knowers of Your Name". But before we think about what we are praying for, the rav instructs, we need to focus just on the first words of the prayer: "may we be". It’s not simple to be who we are, to just be ourselves, and not to pretend to be anything more than that.


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