Sixty seven verses. That's how much space the Torah devotes to finding the proper mate for Yitzchak. There is no more important decision that one makes than the decision - or for some the lack thereof - of whom to marry. So the Torah not only tells the story of Eved Avraham finding a suitable mate to carry on the legacy of Abraham and Sarah, it repeats the entire story (with subtle but significant differences) of the "courtship" of Rivka. The Torah even spends a verse telling us that the story was told over a third time as "the servant told Isaac all that had happened" (25:66). Yet despite the best of efforts it appears that the mission was not a total success. The marriage of Yitzchak and Rivka despite their love for each other - "Isaac was enjoying himself with his wife Rebecca" (26:8) - had its share of problems. There were major disputes about the kids with each parent favouring a different child, and there seemed to be little communication between the two. In fact there is only one recorded conversation between them recorded in the Torah; "Rebecca said to Issac, I am disgusted with life because of those Hittite women. If Jacob marries such a Hittite girl form the daughters of this land why should I go on living"? Their communication certainly did not compare to that of Abraham and Sarah.
"And Rivka looked up and saw Isaac and she fell from the camel. she took her veil and she covered herself" (25:64-65). The Netziv explains that Rivka was full of fear. Rivka has travelled hundreds of miles to a foreign land to marry a man she has never met. She sees him from afar "meditating in the field". Wouldn't you be afraid? However the Netziv explains that this was not the basis of her fear. Rather she was full of fear and shame as she perceived that she was not worthy to be the wife of Yitzchak. After all, this was the man who willingly walked with his father to give his life on the altar. A man who had never left the holy land of Israel, who saw the piety of his parents and was perhaps if we can say so, a little naïve. Rivka on the other hand was a much younger girl from a corrupt and morally bankrupt family, well versed in the rough and tumble of the world and already doing hard work. 'I should marry such a tzadik' she wondered. This "inferiority complex" immobilized her and did not allow her to speak up. She could be a complete ezer knegdo - which includes helping by at times being neged - constructively opposing the decisions of one's spouse. Her awe of Yitzchak forced her to connive a complex plan in order to "communicate" that he had been fooled all along by Eisav. While we are obligated to honour and even fear those who walk in the ways of G-d a spousal relationship can not be build on awe of one's partner.
This seeming incompatibility is alluded to in the Biblical narrative. "You must go to my native land, to my birthplace and obtain a wife for my son ( l'vni ) for Isaac" (24:4) Abraham instructed his servant. The Bais Halevi and Rav Hirsch amongst others explain that a Jewish marriage needs two ingredients. It must be l'vni - for my son - a girl who is worthy to be the daughter in law of Abraham and Sarah. But a good marriage also needs l'Yitzchak - some one who is compatible with the unique personality of Yitzchak. Two people can be wonderful baali chesed but not suitable for each other. Yet when the servant is explaining his mission to Rivka's family he tells them that his master made him swear that "you must go to my father's house to my family and there you shall get a wife for my son ( l'vni) " (24:37). Noticeably absent is mention of Yitzchak. It appears that Abraham's servant was eminently successful in finding an appropriate daughter in law for Abraham but less so in finding a wife for Yitzchak.
Rivka was a wonderful choice as a Matriarch of the Jewish people. Her outstanding middot form the basis of Jewish life and her insight allowed Yaakov to take his rightful place. While personal compatibility is a must for any marriage the key to a bayit ne'eman byisroel is the midot so wonderfully demonstrated by Rivka Imainu . Shabbat Shalom!