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BEAUTY



OR-EL KIPGEN

שֶׁקֶר ֭הַחֵן וְהֶ֣בֶל הַיֹּ֑פִי אִשָּׁ֥ה יִרְ אַת־֝יְהוָֹ֗ה הִ֣יאתִתְ הַלָּֽל׃

Grace is deceptive, beauty is illusory, it is for her fear of the LORD that a woman is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

A woman doesn't deserve to be praised on account of her physical beauty or graceful mannerism. It is appropriate that she be praised for what she does, and not for the attributes she was endowed with at birth -something for which one should praise the Lord.

The wisest man on earth King Solomon in his conclusion chapter of the book Mishlei (Proverb) commences with "אשת חיל מי ימצא'' which is translated as " Who can nd a woman of valour". The whole chapter teaches us both moral and ethical as well as the good manner of a woman. King Solomon, when discussing marriage, teaches us to nd the prime fundamental principle of a good woman which is laid in her "Fear Of God". Since she is the mainstay of her husband's home, and her presence is her husband's best preparation to achieve success in his Torah study and mitzvah performance. (Rabbeinu Behaye)

Beauty itself is compared to lust. And both of them represent emptiness. As Derekh HaKhaim brings the story of Khava and her two sons - Kayin and Hevel, corresponding to the two faculties namely the faculty of envy and the faculty of lust. Why is he called Hevel (Emptiness)? Since the faculty of Hevel which is lust is emptiness. Not only that, the Torah also writes about beauty as emptiness "Hevel haYo / beauty is emptiness". Therefore, King Solomon wants to bring into man attention on the other hand to teach and nd the types of a woman who has beauty in the Fear of God. Because the objective of a woman in the world is to help a man attain and complete what the creator wants from him- and that is the study of Torah and the performance of Mitzvot. When a woman helps him out there, that's her real beauty which needs praising. All other things are lies and emptiness. As Rashi says; no one praises a woman of charms and beauty, everything is futile and false, but a God-fearing woman alone is praised.

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