Abraham sends his servant, Eliezer, to find a wife for his son Isaac. He is to choose a woman of good character. How does he determine that Rebecca is the one? The Midrash helps us understand the character that was revealed to Abraham’s servant:
As Eliezer waited by the well, he saw a beautiful maiden approaching with a jug on her shoulder. She stopped next to a crying child, whose foot had been cut on a sharp stone. She washed the cut and bandaged it with her own veil. She comforted the child by saying the cut would soon heal. Then a woman who was nearly blind came to the well to draw water. Rebecca helped her carry the full pitcher home. When Rebecca returned, Eliezer asked her if she would give him a little water. She assented and then drew water for his camels. The other girls mocked her because she had served a stranger, but she ignored their taunts. Eliezer felt that she would make a very suitable wife for Isaac because she was kind as well as beautiful.
Rebecca, aware of her surroundings, is able to relieve the sufferings of others without being asked. Would that we were this aware to perform g’milut chasadim (acts of loving kindness) like our ancestor, Rebecca, when the situation arises.