The Most Important Thing to Look for in a Relationship

What's the most important thing to look for in a relationship?

It can be any relationship. Spouse, employee, friend...if you had to pick one aspect you would want of a person , what would it be?

Taking a lesson from Bereishis (Genesis) we see something incredible. Avraham (Abraham) sends his trusted servant Eliezer to find a wife for his beloved son Yitzchak (Isaac). He gives him one criteria- take someone from my extended family.

Eliezer, ever faithful, travels to Avraham's hometown and devises a test. The girl, who when asked for water will give my camels as well, that's the one.

Family. An act of kindness. These are important things but what about the things that we consider even more important- you know, like ideology, religion, philosophy?

R' Elya Lopian says an incredible thing.

What matters above all is character. A person with good character will very quickly adopt a good ideology or philosophy. Whereas one with negative character won't do good, even with the best of outlooks.

Our emotions and character drive us, much more so than our ideologies.

 The rise of Jihadi extremism has caused many to question the Koran as a book and Islam as a religion. Perhaps the problem isn't in the book, the religion or the ideology per se. Extremism is a character trait, not a philosophy. The descendants of the one whom the Torah describes as a "wild man" have perpetuated a legacy of recklessness, extremism, and achieving goals at any cost. In the hands of other people, the ideology would be followed in a more rational manner- as it is by many millions around the world. It's only in the hands of those who are by nature extremists that the ideology becomes extreme.

As Jews, we inherit a legacy of compassion and charity. These are character traits that began with Avraham's family and were carefully passed down from generation to generation. It's up to us to keep this going!