I am puzzled by this exhortation in Proverbs 29:8:

וַ֝חֲכָמִ֗ים יָשִׁ֥יבוּ אָֽף

And the wise turn back their nose.

Is this an invitation to undergo nose jobs to improve our looks?

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.


You almost got it right. What it actually means is:

וַ֝חֲכָמִ֗ים יָשִׁ֥יבוּ אָֽף

And the wise will deviate their nose.

The passuk is advising wise men to deliberately deviate their septum to become more ugly.

As the pasuk says elsewhere in proverbs:

שֶׁ֣קֶר הַ֭חֵן וְהֶ֣בֶל הַיֹּ֑פִי

  • 2
    Like it says in the Talmud: Ugly people make the best scholars. [Taanit 7b] Mar 6 '20 at 14:20
  • @MauriceMizrahi can i add that in Mar 6 '20 at 14:25

Ramba"m, I believe, says that we should imitate God's ways. Well, it says that God is ארך אפים - he lengthens his nose.

So, obviously, it would be prudent for us to lengthen our noses. In this way, not only will we be imitating God, but, we will be better able to smell the coffee even before we need to wake up.


We may only get surgery on our faces if we suffer from a disfiguration which has our nose not in the appropriate place, above the mouth.

The earliest codification of this halacha is in Mishna Bikkurim, Perek 3, mishna 1:

".ורבי שמעון אומר אף על פי? כן"


Expanding on Dr. Shmuel's answer based on the Song-of-Sonds 1:16 :

הִנְּךָ֨ יָפֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ אַ֣ף נָעִ֔ים אַף־עַרְשֵׂ֖נוּ רַעֲנָנָֽה׃

You are beautiful, my beloved, [having] a pleasant nose! And we even have our dwelling in Ra'anana."

And that means that if you get a nose job, not only will be able to get lucky with the ladies, but also score an apartment in an expensive suburban region.

However - it is not clear whether the same applies for women as well.


Shir Hashirim 1:16

הִנְּךָ֨ יָפֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ אַ֣ף נָעִ֔ים אַף־עַרְשֵׂ֖נוּ רַעֲנָנָֽה׃

And you, my beloved, are handsome, A Beautiful nose! Our couch is in a bower;

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