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Women's Corner

It's Not Designer Clothes that Impresses G-d, But What’s in the Heart, Part 2

Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, 'a"h
Tuesday, January 31, 2017/Shebat 4, 5777

(For part 1, see )

For us women, the value of that which is within is more accentuated. This is our whole essence: we were created from a rib (an inner part of the body), we are referred to as the daughters of a King, and our entire honor is from within. We draw blessings into our homes and to our children when we develop and refine our inner selves. This is not only our essence but even more so, our strength.

This also means that we must not show off our external and physical belongings. (I am not speaking about the length of our skirts or how high the neckline must be, though they are important topics themselves). I am referring to not showing off our designer bags or the latest model sports car. We must also refine the way we speak about our children and their achievements. Why boast and plant unnecessary seeds of jealousy in the hearts of others? The Ben Ish Hai, in his famous work 'Laws for Women', writes that conducting oneself is such a manner has the potential of doing much damage and one must refrain from doing so.

Many women place much emphasis on their looks and appearance. We should look attractive and take care of our appearance at all times. We are told (Ta'anith 24), that the wife of Abba Hilqiyah would always come out to greet him, upon his return from work, dressed in her finest clothes and wearing perfume. Do we remember to do so in our home when our husbands return from work? Or, perhaps, do we keep on our not so freshly scented clothes, in which we did all our cooking? Do we try to look our best for our husbands when we are at home, or do we reserve the best for when we go out and are seen by others?

We know we should dedicate time to continuously work on ourselves, refine our character traits and beautify ourselves from within. We should spend time shopping for clothes, choosing attractive hair coverings, and so on, but this should be a mere fraction of the time that we spend on improving our inner selves. We should eagerly enhance the "internal daughter of the King" from within, with a much greater intensity.

May we have the clarity and the wisdom to remove ourselves from the confusion of the world outside. May we understand what is important -- that we must rush to follow -- and what is not important, that we should distance ourselves from. This is our real essence and our strength.

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