Sorry about the ultra-long hiatus - I was unavoidably detained by planning, then executing a trip to the States. But, I'm back !
We find that Rivka Imainu is referred to as the daughter of Besuel and the sister of Lavan - why is she associated with such wicked people ? To teach us ( says Rashi ) that she was righteous despite being tainted with their influence... thus teaching us that a solitary person of good in a sea of evil is more praiseworthy than one who is surrounded by goodness.
So why does the Torah imply the exact opposite ?
When giving klal yisrael promises of good, Hashem tells the Jews - [if you will keep the mitzvos] "then five of you will defeat a hundred attackers, and a hundred will repel an attack by ten thousand." (Vayikra 26:8) When pointing out that the ratio is off ( 5:100 is less than 100:10,000 ) , Rashi says that those who keep the Torah in greater numbers are more praiseworthy - thus the greater (divinely inspired) abilities.
So what's better - Rivka who overcame her surroundings, or Hashem's promise which seems to favor mass observance over solitary triumph ?
Email me your answers ! ydruyan at gmail dot com