What emerges from the Eliezer narrative is that this method of finding a spouse is not recommended for the rest of us. The narrative exists primarily to demonstrate the close divine relationship that our forefathers enjoyed and to teach other ethical lessons. It is anything but a how-to guide to shidduchim.
When we put all the narratives and our collective history together, we find that there is no one “Torah Way” for singles to meet. The Torah Way – as is so often the case – is to do what works on an individual basis within halachic boundaries. If going to a shadchan works for some people, so be it. But to claim this is the best way, or the only way, or even a highly effective way is disingenuous and terribly misleading.
Torah narratives provide direction for us when studied in depth, in the proper context, and with the underlying realization that narratives are not halachic mandates. To focus on a handpicked story that suits one’s agenda – worse still, to zero in on selected details from one story – is ignorant and, if willful, intellectually dishonest.
It is high time we opened ourselves up to honestly discussing and seriously addressing the deep problems in the shidduch world. High time we stopped hiding behind Eliezer.