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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Beauty’

The Height of Beauty

Monday, November 19th, 2012

View of Mont Blanc from the station where the cable cars meet.

As the cold weather settles upon us, snow and ice become our constant companions. Although it is often uncomfortable, both snow and ice are not always associated with freezing weather. In the Alps, which are located in various European countries, snow and ice can be found throughout the year in breathtaking forms.

The European Alps is a giant mountain spine that divides Western Europe into northern and southern portions. The Alps mountain range curves all the way from the French-Italian border near the Mediterranean Sea, fills most of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and extends into Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

The French Alps in particular, border both France and Switzerland. Regardless of the fact that they are not as well-known as their Swiss counterparts, they also afford magnificent views year-round. The French Alps are renowned for their stunning scenery, complete with beautiful mountains, rolling foothills, and pristine lakes and rivers. Europe’s tallest and most famous mountain, the Mont Blanc, is situated in the French Alps bordering on Italy.

The snow-covered Alps in France attract a host of people who come to ski or just enjoy the awesome scenery. Although the French Alps draw its unique fame from its ski trails, there are also many magnificent hiking trails to enjoy during the summer time. On a recent summer trip to La Plagne, a ski resort neighborhood in the French Alps, I stood in awe of the stunning snow-capped mountains there.

Tucked amongst the Alps are various glaciers. Glaciers differ from regular snow covered mountains. They are usually mountains, of higher altitude, in which the snow accumulates and freezes into ice. A glacier is not always recognizable from the exterior since it is often covered with fresh layers of snow.

La Plange

Many glaciers across the European Alps have in recent years begun housing incredible ice caves. The French Alps in particular had two mountain guides who came up with the idea of building an ice cave on a glacier in 1992. Their project took off immediately. The next year they decided to hire professional sculptors to create sculptures within the ice caves for public viewing. Due to the tremendous success of this venture, another four ice caves with sculptures were opened. Each ice cave has a central theme. To date, there are six ice caves in the French Alps. The ice caves are especially created at very high altitudes where the temperatures are low year-round to ensure that the sculptures stay frozen.

During my stay in La Plagne, I went to visit one such ice cave or Grotte de Glace as the French call it. In order to get to the cave, we first took one cable car about halfway up. Then we switched to a second cable car. There isn’t enough power in the cars for them to reach the full attitude without stopping. At the station where the two cable cars met, we were almost knocked over by the most unbelievable view of the surrounding mountains, including the famous Mont Blanc.

Ice Sculptures of animals in the Grotte de Glace in La Plagne. A goat, fox and deer.

The Grotte de Glace in La Plagne was built in 2005 on the Summit of Bellecôte glacier which is 3,417 meters (11, 210 feet) high. It houses a gallery with several rooms and is home to spectacular sculptures directly carved into the ice. The cave is approximately 150 meters long featuring the masterpieces in translucent shades blue. The sculptures are of various different life-sized animals, including a fox, bear, deer, and even a huge elephant.

Each year thousands of people visit the Grotte de Glace in La Plagne to enjoy the exceptional beauty of the unique sculptures.


Compiled and Photographed by S.Y. Einhorn

S. Y. Einhorn

Israel, Iran, And The Shiite Apocalypse (Third of Three Parts)

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.
– William Butler Yeats,
“Easter, 1916”

The primary point of Israel’s nuclear forces must be deterrence ex ante, not preemption or reprisal ex post. If, however, nuclear weapons should ever be introduced into a conflict between Israel and one or more of the several states that still wish to destroy it, some form of nuclear war fighting could ensue.

This would be the case so long as: (a) enemy state first-strikes against Israel would not destroy the Jewish state’s second-strike nuclear capability; (b) enemy state retaliations for Israeli conventional preemption would not destroy Israel’s nuclear counter-retaliatory capability; (c) Israeli preemptive strikes involving nuclear weapons would not destroy enemy state second-strike nuclear capabilities; and (d) Israeli retaliation for enemy state conventional first-strikes would not destroy enemy state nuclear counter-retaliatory capabilities.

From the standpoint of protecting its security and survival, this means Israel should now take prompt and immediate steps to ensure the likelihood of (a) and (b) above, and the unlikelihood of (c) and (d). As was clarified by Project Daniel’s final report, “Israel’s Strategic Future” (www.acpr.org.il/ENGLISH-NATIV/03-ISSUE/daniel-3.htm), it’s always in Israel’s interest to avoid nuclear war fighting wherever possible.

For Israel, both nuclear and non-nuclear preemptions of enemy unconventional aggressions could lead to nuclear exchanges. This would depend, in part, upon the effectiveness and breadth of Israeli targeting, the surviving number of enemy nuclear weapons, and the willingness of enemy leaders to risk Israeli nuclear counter-retaliations. Significantly, the likelihood of nuclear exchanges would be greatest wherever potential state aggressors, especially Iran, were allowed to deploy ever-larger numbers of certain unconventional weapons, without eliciting appropriate and effective Israeli preemptions. This point was frequently overlooked by those who persistently opposed still-timely forms of anticipatory self-defense by Israel.

Should enemy nuclear deployments ultimately be allowed, Israel could then effectively forfeit the non-nuclear preemption option. At that point, its only remaining alternatives to nuclear preemption would be: (1) a no-longer viable conventional preemption; or (2) a decision to do nothing, thereby relying for security on the increasingly doubtful logic of nuclear deterrence or “containment,” and the inherently limited protections of ballistic missile defense.

This means, at least in principle, that the risks of any Israeli nuclear preemption, of nuclear exchanges with an enemy state, and of enemy nuclear first strikes, might still be reduced by certain Israeli non-nuclear preemptions.

While still unrecognized in Washington and Jerusalem, there is no greater power in world politics than power over death. The idea of an apocalypse figures scripturally in both Judaism and Christianity, but it very likely appeared for the first time among the Zoroastrians in ancient Persia. Interestingly, but probably without any current conceptual significance, this is basically the same geographic region as modern-day Iran.

For President Ahmadinejad, still in power, and very deeply concerned with power over death, there could be a recognizably “terrible beauty” in transforming the “world of war” into the “world of Islam.” For all who study present-day Iran, this bitter observation is incontestable. After all, for this Iranian president – and more importantly for his assorted clerical masters – an “end of the world” struggle spawned by any such transformation could enticingly open the way, at least for true believers, to a life everlasting.

What promise could conceivably be more satisfying? Though still largely inconspicuous to the generals, the professors, and the political analysts, there can be no greater power on earth than power over death, the incomparable power to overcome mortality. It follows that soon-to-be nuclear Iranian decision-makers, joyously imagining an utterly endless landscape of enemy corpses, could emerge prepared, enthusiastically and unhesitatingly, to become collective martyrs.

In the final analysis, however, we must recall that “irrational” is not the same as “crazy” or “mad,” and that even an irrational Iranian adversary might still be subject to alternate forms of deterrence. Therefore, Iranian leaders who might be willing to sacrifice millions to bring back the missing Twelfth Imam, or Mahdi, could still maintain a consistent and transitive order of different preferences.

In this hierarchy there would be certain core religious institutions and expectations that demand protection. It follows that even an “irrational” Iranian leadership that is willing to absorb massive enemy military strikes against its populations might still not be willing to absorb serious harms to presumably essential core elements of its One true Faith.

Louis Rene Beres

Baby Beauty Contest, 1949

Friday, July 13th, 2012

The Golden Age Club met at the Emanuel Cohen Center, 909 Elwood Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 16, 1949.

The judges here included, left to right, Rabbi Schulman, William Liebo, Sam Finkelestein, and Lena Berdman. The baby beauty is Roberta Wilensky, aged 2.

I suppose we’ve been doing this to babies since the bronze age, but this looks tame compared to some of the baby competitions nowadays.

Good looking baby, though…

Yori Yanover

Original Jewish Press Video: Beauty and Joy of Israel’s Heart – Jerusalem

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The streets of Jerusalem on the special day commemorating the city’s reunification. A celebration of youthful energy, enthusiasm, and love of the Jewish homeland. Everyone is included and dancing together from all backgrounds in an overflowing expression of unity. Original footage 2012 shot by JewishPress.com’s Jerusalem based videographer Natan Epstein. Music by Shlomo Katz, “There Will Be Heard”. Shlomo is seen performing at the concert next to the kotel (Western Wall of the Temple Mount) at the end of the video below.

If you are wondering where all the women are at the Jerusalem Day celebration, you can see them in the video made last year at the event by the Jewish Press’s own Yishai and Malkah Fleisher who captured the ladies side of the festivities in 2011.

Yocheved Seidman

Speed Dating For In-laws?

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

A recent article in The Jewish Press (Purim And The Tyranny of Beauty, Family Issues, March 16, 2012) written by writer and author Yitta Halberstam Mandelbaum generated, and continues to generate, quite a buzz.

Many people agreed with her observations and conclusions – others were indignant, even furious.

Yitta wrote about a rather unique social gathering that she was invited to – as a mother of an “eligible” boy. A gathering whose concept I personally found rather disconcerting. I would best describe it as being a meet/”meat” market, where mothers could shop around for a spouse for their son.

Yitta accepted the invitation that had been extended by a woman whom she respects and admires, and, like any journalist worth her salt, reported on what she saw.

While she greatly admired what she viewed – the courage of these would-be future wives of Israel putting themselves in what she felt was a potentially uncomfortable situation (I know this event was launched with the best of intentions, but I cannot help but see it as a marketplace where hapless “older” singles were to be appraised like merchandise by potential “buyers”‘ – at least on a date it’s a two way street) – Yitta nonetheless opined that many of these young women came to the event dressed and coiffed in a way that did not enhance their looks. Many she observed seemed to be wearing no makeup at all.

Yitta expressed her shocked dismay that quite a few of the young women seemingly did not attempt to do what they could to look their best that evening – or any evening for that matter, as they were overweight, had unflattering hairstyles, etc.

Yitta suggested what to many people were extreme measures to turn an ugly duckling into a swan – including cosmetic and plastic surgery.

While some in the community agreed with her assessment, many others skewered her; aghast that she felt erliche bochrim and their pious, righteous mothers would focus on the superficial. They were upset that Yitta was suggesting that mothers of learning boys would be so shallow as to not see past these bnot Yisrael‘s crooked teeth, size 14 waists, etc. and be dazzled by their inner beauty.

But Yitta was just being the messenger – she was telling it like it is – and the fact is looks do matter and this reality cannot be made to go away despite vehement protests to the contrary.

Time to take the head out of the chulent pot! It’s not a secret that many middle aged women, mothers of shidduch age daughters, fanatically exercise and diet themselves into size 4’s, knowing full well that as they open the door to the bochur taking their daughter out, his eyes will be looking her up and down as he tries to get a glimpse of what his potential wife might look like 25 years into the future.

How this would be mother-in-law looks could influence the length of that first date. The bigger the double chin, the shorter the date – even if the girl herself is rail thin.

Yitta, motivated by genuine ahavas Yisrael, bravely “walked the walk” on an unpopular highway, and offered valuable, but difficult to hear, advice. She did not create this situation – and having herself “been there and done that” she honestly shared her informed opinion on a possibly remedy.

But Yitta’s “tough love” approach is not what motivated me to write about her article.

Her “unorthodox” (pun intended) but meritous suggestions should not have generated controversy – rather the meeting itself should have.

Has getting a shidduch in our community really come to this bizarre state of affairs, what can only be described as speed dating between mothers-in-law and potential daughters-in-law or a matrimonial job fair where you interview for the position of wife, with the CEO (his mother) reviewing your shidduch resume and personally assessing your qualifications?

Whatever happened to young men meeting young women and spending a few hours together and then each of them making a somewhat informed decision as to where to go from there?

It seems with every passing decade, our sons are being infantilized. There was a time not so long ago when men would seek out a wife, marry, and support her and the children they would have. The husband would be the “man of the house,” the household’s primary breadwinner – or at the very least co-breadwinner, if the wife was employed.

In recent years, however, it has become fashionable for young married men to not be required to work – for years.

Instead, their fathers/fathers-in-law are doing the financial supporting, just as they do for their single children still at home.

Sure it’s wonderful to immerse yourself in Torah, but doing that for years means the men doing the supporting cannot retire or cut down on their working hours – thus they have to minimize or postpone their own learning. How fair is that?

Cheryl Kupfer

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The Tyranny of Beauty: Readers Have The Last Word

Editor’s Note: Yitta Halberstam’s article “Purim and the Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim” (Family Issues section, March 16) ignited a firestorm of reaction, both pro and con. Hundreds of letters and e-mail responses poured in to our website (JewishPress.com) and the print edition, along with several article-length responses. We published a couple of letters about the article in the March 23 issue, along with a response from Ms. Halberstam. Last week we devoted a full page in Family Issues to some of the e-mails and website comments. The responses keep coming, and so this week we’re letting several more readers have their say – and then we’re turning the page to other matters. Some of the article-length responses can be read on our website.

Facing Reality

I truly regret that Ms. Halberstam was so misunderstood. For starters, the name of the article was “The Tyranny of Beauty.” Anyone who knows anything about Ms. Halberstam knows she is a sincere yiray shamayim who writes with her whole soul. She does not believe the most important quality a female can have is her looks. She believes inner beauty is the lasting beauty.

However, she is also a realist and she is well aware of the shidduch crisis. She knows how many resumes grind themselves out of fax machines and how most of them go unanswered. She knows how it is with shadchanim who try but are limited.

Anyone who is up in arms at the thought of trying to make oneself more attractive – and, needless to say, it is the rare case where a nose job is the issue – should look around and see what is going on today.

I recently tried to set up a family member with a boy learning in kollel, and after I told his mother how brilliant and kind and full of mitzvot the girl is, and the special family she comes from, the mother had two questions for me: Is she pretty and is she blond. This from a kollel mother who fully plans to support the young couple.

Yitta Halberstam in her article lamented the fact that so much emphasis is placed on looks. But if that is the unfortunate reality today, a word to the wise should be sufficient.
Nicole Levy
New York, NY

Blatant Generalizations

In response to cogent criticism about her article by reader Tova Ross (Letters, March 23), Ms. Halberstam asserted that she only wrote the article after years of imploring young men to consider inner beauty when selecting a mate. Again, she emphasized that her article was put forth publicly to help. This is specious at best.

Ms. Halberstam’s blatant generalizations about young women fixing their appearance is an oversimplification of the shidduchim issue. Cosmetics, nose jobs, and hair treatments are not the end all and be all to securing one’s life partner. Further, where in Ms. Halberstam’s article did she direct men to fix their attitude and outward appearance as well?
Barbie Kona
(Via E-Mail)

What About The Boys?

Ms. Halberstam begins her article lamenting the power imbalance in today’s shidduch scene. Boys (really their mothers) are inundated with resumes and girls sit tsitering at home. She presents her advice as the magic solution, yet anyone who takes a second to follow it to its inevitable conclusion would quickly realize it would do nothing but greatly exacerbate the current “crisis.”

In a world where girls are getting plastic surgery left and right because they are pressured to (first by their mothers, as the article suggests, then their friends who are doing the same, then via a shadchan by the boys they date who have come to expect it) they are stripped of any power they once had. Their self worth has been trod upon and they have been relegated to a role of literally doing anything they can to “get a guy.”

Let’s not forget that all of this is the foundation for a marriage. Is this what we want frum Jewish marriages to be based on? The husband should expect his wife to go to extreme measures at his whim? And for those of you who think I’m taking my reasoning too far, I am talking about a world where it is expected that a girl undergo plastic surgery to fix anything and everything that “needs to be” in order to date successfully.

Now let’s flip it around here. Ms. Halberstam is the mother of a dating boy. She presents herself and her son as the pictures of perfection. I get the impression that, as the old cliché has it, no girl is good enough for her baby. Instead of assessing the shidduch world and figuring out what she can do as the mother of a son to alleviate the pressures, she points at mothers of girls and tells them how to make their daughters good enough for her son. It seems to me that mothers of sons, instead of pointing fingers because the girls aren’t “pretty enough,” could stand to sit their precious boys down and discuss realistic expectations.

Our Readers

Readers Respond to “The Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers Of Girls In Shidduchim”

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

In our March 16 issue we featured The Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers Of Girls In Shidduchim, in which the author described a “Meet and Greet” for young women in a certain age and mindset (looking for young men who are sitting and learning) and mothers of the young men they could potentially date. The article received a tremendous amount of comments on our website and via e-mail. Below are some of the responses.

Thankfully, I declined an invite for my daughter to attend the meet and greet. Since I was not present at the scene you describe I will take your word for it and assume the girls appeared as you described them (even though the girls I see at work, shopping, simchas etc. always appear very well groomed and very presentable). What I find most objectionable with your article, with this new shidduch initiative, as well as with other shidduch initiatives, is that whether the girls appeared up to your standards of beauty or not, the undertone is that boys are to be considered superstars simply for being breathing males and girls should feel like they have been struck with stardust if a boy’s mother bats an eyelash of acknowledgment at the girl’s existence. Why is it that only the girls have to present themselves? At this shidduch meet and greet did anyone describe and present the available boys, whose mothers were present, so that the girls should be able to determine if they would be interested in dating their sons? Of course not, because the assumption is that if one of the mothers chooses one of the girls to date her son, she will immediately jump at the chance of getting a date, any date!

Perhaps it’s this assumption that a girl should be thrilled just to have a date that is adding fuel to the “shidduch crisis.” Maybe it is time for us to respect our girls and appreciate them for what they have to offer. Just because boys have a pile of resumes to sift through and girls wait for the phone to ring, does not mean the girls want to spend their time dating boys who would not be an appropriate spouse. It is just as disheartening to date without a fruitful outcome, as it is to have no dates. And that is true for boys, as well as girls!

And let’s talk about the boys a bit: I have had boys appear for a date in a less than well groomed appearance, show up late without even offering an excuse for their tardiness, and present with such attitude that I wished I could send them packing without my daughter having to suffer through a few hours trying to converse with them. I mention this, not because I wish to offer a tit-for-tat put down of the boys as you did for the girls but, because I sincerely believe many mothers, by orchestrating their son’s entire life and by fawning over their boys, have made their sons into timid wimps that the girls are not interested in dating.

So here’s a suggestion for all those people who are really trying so hard to match up boys and girls for marriage. How about instead of the mothers meeting and interviewing the girls, we institute a “Tu B’Av Project” where the boys and girls would meet, with supervision, and present themselves to each other, without anyone else, mothers or otherwise, deciding for them who they may find appealing. It seems to have been the practice in the times of the Gemara, it might just work for us too!
Rochel Pomerantz
Via e-mail

* * * * *

You put your own caveat in the beginning that you expected a bit a “flack” for the advice that would be offered. I want to endorse you for your wonderful articulation of what might be a problem for a certain number of young people. I pray that those who need to hear/read/do will be motivated to take the positive steps you enumerate.

I wish I would see in print the extension of one of the issues you speak of — taking care of ourselves, in general — weight, neat clothing, pretty sheitels (no snoods in public ever!) — and most of all, as we age, always “putting our best faces forward” with properly and tastefully applied makeup. I’m seen too many women “of a certain age” who don’t/can’t/ bother with this very important aspect of our femininity, and yes, our yiddishkeit as well, since this is the face we present to the world, as religious women. We are always being judged by our appearance, wherever we go. Sadly, I think many women who don’t make any effort to beautify themselves, really believe this is a manifestation of humility and modesty, and therefore it’s even an admirable religious aspect to be “natural.”

What women don’t realize is how much better they will feel, and how people will react to them with so many more smiles, when the face presented to the world is one of beauty and self-caring.
Miriam Mann
via e-mail

* * * * *

This article is horrible. As a 27 year old member of what you seem to describe as the privileged gender, male, I can tell you that most guys don’t appreciate the efforts put into make up, nose jobs, etc. Quite honestly, most single men I know, myself included, couldn’t care less about whether a girl put make up on, the size of her nose, or any of these other meaningless things. While anyone going on a date, man or woman, should make an effort to look presentable, this author typifies the attitude that perpetuates the shidduch crisis: “Only a supermodel is worthy of my amazing son.” In quoting the story of Megillat Esther, the author seems to forget the most important part: Achashveirosh chose Esther, not the other girls, despite all their efforts. The author would probably have said that Esther was unworthy of her son because she didn’t put in all that effort to beautify herself. Shame on the author and best of luck to all the women out there who understand that dating someone who will only be interested in you if you put on make up isn’t worth your time. “Sheker hachein v’hevel hayofi. Isha yirat Hashem he tithalal.”
Chayim Goldberg,
on-line comment

* * * * *

The boys never get a choice about half the girls that are suggested because the MOTHER didn’t think she was pretty enough, thin enough…smart enough…mothers need to remember that what THEY think is pretty may not be what their son thinks is pretty. I was a size 14-16 when I went out with my husband. I had been told my shadchanim that I shouldn’t expect many dates, because lets face it, I am not a skinny. But 5 weeks after meeting my husband we were engaged, and today, 9 years and 3 babies later, I am unfortunately a bit larger, at a size 16-18 and my husband thinks I’m prettier than the day he met me, and loves my curves!!!! His mother couldn’t care less, whatever he liked was fine. They didn’t ask what size I was or what color tablecloth we used. Mothers need to lower their standards and give some “imperfect” girls a chance, not suggest to their mothers that they get gastric bypass and nose jobs.
Shira Leah Wildman,
on-line comment

* * * * *

Why title this article “The Tyranny of Beauty,” and then go on to advocate to mothers to work to perpetuate it? As a young woman seeking my bashert who does NOT fit the “ideal” shidduch mold, I naturally take steps to put my best face (and body, and mind) forward when going out on dates. But anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am quite cynical about the amount of artifice that has to go into preparing for dates. First impressions are important, and by all means make efforts to improve them, but nose jobs, Botox and weight-loss surgery? How have we gotten to the point where people think these are reasonable steps and justifiable expenses in pursuit of a husband? Too many lines have been crossed. Everyone talks the talk – that truly happy marriages are not based on looks, but the frum community, as a whole, needs to start walking the walk as well.
Tzivia Berow
On-line comment

* * * * *

Clearly this is the mother of a guy — no one who watches a girl they care about getting ready for a date, or worrying about the affect of their appearance on their chances would seriously think that this is some sort of news. If anything, I’ve seen some potentially “great guys” whose mothers should wake up to the fact that it’s the 21st century and figure out where the anti-acne creams are in the drugstore, or teach them how to match their pants, shirt and tie. Attraction goes both ways. Instead, girls are told to focus on their physical externals, and guys are told to focus on their religious externals (learning every day vs. good middot, for example). And since we live in this society, we should just go along with it instead of trying to make it better. The tyranny of conformity, maybe.
Ora Z Novick
On-line comment

* * * * *

Everyone wants to marry someone attractive, I myself am guilty of this. What is not mentioned is that my friends and I do not find the same women attractive. So by changing one’s face, one G-d intended to attract a certain guy, you may now attract the wrong guy. Yes, she might get married sooner, but is he the right guy? Also if every woman got plastic surgery, the standards of beauty would go up – just like economic inflation. It must also be said that guys suffer too. It is hard for me to get shidduchim because I’m working while perusing a masters instead of wearing a black hat and sitting in yeshiva, therefore I am not considered frum enough for many girls. These problems stem from the poor direction of our parents, rabbis and the social pressure that we must get married before we are old and 21. Here is a solution: let your children mature before you push them to get married, that way they will be able to make real decisions about what they want – not what you want for them.
Cin Cy
On line comment

* * * * *

Stop giving the author such a hard time. I think we can all agree the system stinks. It’s unfair and it objectifies women. The author agrees! But she’s also being practical. And while she may be going overboard in making certain recommendations, she’s certainly right in stating the obvious, albeit politically incorrect, fact: looks matter. While we might like to think of ourselves, or our friends as the exception to the rule, guys generally care about looks, even if only on a subconscious level. The author is not pushing for the further objectification of women, but rather recognizing the reality that they are. That isn’t a morally courageous stance, but given the heat she’s received in these comments, it certainly took some kind of courage.
Raffi Holzer
On line comment

* * * * *

Whatever happened to children making their own choices? The author is taking all the responsibility and effort out of the sons’ hands, putting it into their mother’s hands. I always thought that Judaism was supposed to leap over and strive for better than the vain idea of beauty. Yet this author brings it to the highest realm of importance. Why? It is certainly important, but important enough that it should be faked? That plastic surgery should be considered? Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder and fear if that beholder is a mother. Where is the onus for the sons? Why are the daughters the only ones coming out, and why are they forced into the awkward situation of meeting the mothers instead of the sons they might date one day? You ask how you could suitably understand a girl in the seconds of the “interview”, well how in the world is she ever supposed to understand your son? Or is that not important? We don’t live in biblical times or pre-modern Middle Eastern civilizations where everything is set up before birth. In fact there are Talmudic restrictions against that type of thing, yet the author seemingly is trying to bring this back. There are better ways to get married than setting up some ridiculous meeting with mothers. Vanity, while important, goes both ways, for the guy and the girl. And no girl should ever have to feel she needs to surgically change anything. As for the author, maybe she should actually listen to the girls.
Avi Bagley
On-line comment

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As a woman, I find this article to be honest and refreshing. I don’t find it degrading or shallow, and I think that those of you who will insist, “looks don’t matter” are fooling yourselves. Obviously, men are attracted to women who take care of themselves, and it goes both ways. What girl wants to date a boy who doesn’t put some effort into his physical appearance? It was the decision of these girls (and their parents) to enter the dating world and begin the hunt to find their husbands. That sounds like a pretty serious goal to me, and just like all goals, requires some work and effort on behalf of the young lady. Why shouldn’t she put on a little makeup and some figure flattering clothes? Isn’t sex a vital part of a successful marriage, and therefore sexual attraction a vital part of finding a spouse? Before anyone (man or woman) goes on a date, they shower, shave, pick out their most flattering outfit etc. All the author is saying is: if you want to find a husband, put in a little effort. What is so degrading about that?
Gitzy Lazaros
On-line comment

* * * * *

This is all fact. It’s just the way of the world. People choose their partners initially, based on attraction. If you’re appalled by someone’s physical appearance, well bottom line, you’re NOT going to be giving him or her a second look.

There was a comment made “If they don’t like you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best.” I agree with this statement, but does that mean they should see what your worst is at the inception? No, it means after months of getting to know someone and feeling more and more comfortable with him or her, that’s when your so called “worst” can come out. That’s when you whip out the ponytails and then sweatshirts. But I just never understood women who didn’t want to constantly wow people. It doesn’t take much to swipe on some mascara and brush on some blush. I can do it in about 18 seconds.

And fact of the matter is, it’s proven that when you feel you look better on the outside, you feel better on the inside. Don’t just do it for someone else, do it for yourself. Show you have a little self-respect, show yourself you take at least a little pride in the amazing woman you are. Treat yourself to look good. You deserve it. You want to say, this is the way Hashem made us, well Hashem also gave us the brains to create make up and perfume and hair treatments. So use it. Not all the time, but definitely the times where you’re looking for a partner in life.

Be realistic, stop trying to be politically correct. It’s ok to step outside the box sometimes. How many times have we seen in the Torah the mention of beauty and women dolling themselves up with makeup and perfumes and jewelry. Even in terms of men in the Torah, physical appearance is used to describe them. Yosef, supposedly women were scaling the walls to catch a glimpse of him. Esav, supposedly was scary to look at because he was covered in hair and dirty, Dovid saw Batsheva bathing, supposedly she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Rochel, Rivkah, Sora, beauty was always mentioned in referring to them.

As little girls we’re given the bracha by our fathers to be like our eemahos, so let’s do it, let’s be like them, in every aspect…
Amanda Dexter Schuster
On-line comment

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/readers-respond-to-the-tyranny-of-beauty-a-plea-to-mothers-of-girls-in-shidduchim/2012/03/29/

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