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Rebbeca (Rivkah)


Rabbi Eli Clark

Kislev 14, 5772
Shalom Rabbi, i am Noahide. i heard a Rabbi recently say, that when Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for his son, that he saw Rebecca at the well, and she gave him and his camels water. That alright, but what i am wondering about is he said that she was 3 years old. How can that be. She is three years old and can pull water from the well? Also he said that Issac was 37 years old. It sounds so unbelievable. What is the real story? Thanks for your help. stella c.
Dear Stella: The Bible itself does not specify the ages of Rebecca or Isaac at the time of their meeting at the well. So we will never know the real story. The Rabbis of the Talmud sought to fill in gaps in the biblical text through an imaginative reading of the text known as "midrash". These interpretations are sometimes understood literally, but sometimes they are not. The source of the Rabbi's statement that Rebecca was 3 and Isaac was 37 is a midrash. If you ask me, that particular interpretation is not meant to be taken literally.
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