Title: Biblical Beauty: Ancient Secrets and Modern Solutions
Author: Rachelle Weisberger
Publisher: Anbern Press
Beauty tips from the Bible? We know from Ethics of the Fathers that Ben Bag Bag teaches, “Delve in [the Torah] and delve in it, for everything is in it” (5.26). But does “everything” include practical advice for women today?
Yes! Rachelle Weisberger demonstrates in her new book, Biblical Beauty, that we can take “Ancient Secrets and Modern Solutions” from the Bible. Working from the assumption that “the Torah speaks the language of tomorrow,” with new insights applicable to each generation, she finds in the accounts of Biblical women hints to how to care for and enjoy our natural gifts.
She cites the verses and builds on them: from Bathsheba practical advice on skin care; from Deborah on sun care; from Rahab on makeup; from Esther on fragrance; from Sarah on healthy aging. These chapters offer excellent suggestions for enhancing one’s attributes. She distills her knowledge from two decades of work as a cosmetologist, makeup artist, skin care specialist, and consultant for fitness programs. Pages 45-55 will clue the reader in on the effect of everything we apply to our faces; her illustrations tell how to minimize what we want to conceal, and how to emphasize what we want to highlight. Her approach is “less can be more.”
She suggests exercises that can be readily done in one’s home: they are easy, and answer to a woman’s needs for maintaining flexibility and balance; the breathing exercise that she outlines is relaxing.
She entitles one section “Seeking a Meaningful Life.” It is a spiritual complement to her advice on physical beauty. In three pages she offers one idea after another for building meaningful relationships, not only with family, but with friends and community as well. With all the suggestions she has for ways to participate and to give, there is no reason to feel that life is boring. Her most interesting recommendation is cultivating a relationship with G-d through prayer; this gives “rich meaning to life” and opens “channels for selfless service and connection with others.”
Much as I enjoy Rachelle Weisberger’s book, I disagree with part of her analysis of women’s role in the community. It’s wonderful that women are learning Torah and gaining a profound understanding of halacha; we have to create a title for these women, but not the one that she reported. This will be a topic for discussion that will be both spirited and spiritual.
The book is available in major Jewish bookstores in the metropolitan area, or by going to www.rachelleweisberger.com.
About the Author: Dr. Rivkah Teitz Blau is a professor of English, an author, and a lecturer. She edited the volume on "Gender Relationships in Marriage and Out" for the Orthodox Forum.
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