9

Rashi Breishis 23:1 says that when Sarah was 20 she was beautiful as when she was 7. Mishlei 31:30 says שקר החן והבל היפי אשה יראת ה' היא תתהלל. Why is Rashi saying that Sarah was beautiful if it is vain?

  • Isn't the whole passage about the Jewish people metaphorically and not women in general? – Al Berko Oct 7 at 12:32
8

The Pele Yoetz answers this question by saying that if one can get a beautiful wife and she is also fearing of God then that is the best combination. I think he says the reason is that a pretty wife will help her husband from sinning.

The rule of שקר החן is for someone who cannot find any God fearing wife except a non-pretty one, in that case we say שקר החן.

  • 3
    So basically, beauty is only important if you have any. How lovely. – Double AA Nov 16 '12 at 3:19
  • @DoubleAA Beauty is an extra virtue but not as important is Yiras Shomayim. – Yehuda Nov 16 '12 at 6:24
  • 1
    I never contended to the contrary. – Double AA Nov 16 '12 at 7:25
  • The link leads me to a "page not found" page on itorah.com. Maybe you'd do better with a link from HebrewBooks, or from Sefaria. – Tamir Evan Jun 14 at 7:52
2

See Mishna and Gemara in Taanit 26a, 31a

ומה היו אומרות בחור שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך אל תתן עיניך בנוי תן עיניך במשפחה (משלי לא) שקר החן והבל היופי אשה יראת ה' היא תתהלל

DO NOT SET THINE EYES ON BEAUTY BUT SET THINE EYES ON [GOOD] FAMILY. GRACE IS DECEITFUL, AND BEAUTY IS VAIN; BUT A WOMAN THAT FEARETH THE LORD, SHE SHALL BE PRAISED.

מיוחסות שבהן היו אומרות בחור וכו': תנו רבנן יפיפיות שבהן מה היו אומרות תנו עיניכם ליופי שאין האשה אלא ליופי

THOSE OF THEM WHO CAME OF NOBLE FAMILIES EXCLAIMED, 'YOUNG MAN etc.' Our Rabbis have taught: The beautiful amongst them called out, Set your eyes on beauty for the quality most to be prized in woman is beauty;

So, beauty is also an argument.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .