Why should a Jewish woman attempt to look beautiful for her husband?
Now the question is why did he marry her? Because she is proficient in Chovos Halevavos? Because she knows Choshen Mishpat? He marries her because she’s a woman. And never forget that fact. Of course he wants a frum woman with a good character. Of course he wants a woman who will be a mother to his children. He wants many things. But suppose she decides she stops being a woman, let’s say. She’ll take an operation that will make her something not a woman. Good-bye! He shows her the door. Marriage is based on the fact that he is a man and she is a woman.
And therefore it’s of the upmost importance always for a woman to make it her business to encourage her husband to like her as a woman. And therefore the gemara says that in the midbar when the mann used to fall every day, cosmetics fell with the mann. It’s a remarkable statement! Cosmetics fell with the mann. You never heard that before? Cosmetics?! The answer is that cosmetics are vital. Forty years in the midbar the women won’t have an opportunity to find favor in the eyes of their husbands? It can’t be. That’s the medrash. Cosmetics fell with the mann.
You know, Ezra Hasofer made great takanos. And when he made takanos he didn’t deal with small picayune things. He dealt with very great subjects. He was bringing people back to Eretz Yisrael. He was rebuilding a nation. He was busy with big things. Now, among his takanos one that’s recorded is a takanah that in every town peddlers of cosmetics for women should visit every town once a week. It was a takanas Ezra! At least once a week every Jewish town should be visited by a peddler selling women’s cosmetics. Ezra had no other business than that? Ezra was busy with muktzeh. He was busy with shemoneh esrei, being misakein shemonah esrei. All the takanos from Anshei Knesses Hagedolah, great takanos that were forever and ever; he should be busy with a takanah about cosmetics?! Yes. This is also important.
And so we learn how necessary it is for a woman always to keep in mind, until her last day, as long as she has a husband she has to make it her business to be presentable to her husband. I cannot overemphasize this subject. I know there are righteous women who think that with their tzidkus alone they deserve to be respected and they are right. They deserve to be respected and Hakadosh Baruch Hu should give them great reward for all their good deeds. And still they must realize that one of their good deeds is to be gomel chessed and to make a great impression on their husbands.
That’s why I always say if you like mopping the floor – some women love to get on their knees and mop the floor; to wash the floor and scrub it – don’t do it when your husband is home. When he’s away and you’re sure he won’t come home soon then you can do these things. When you know he’s coming home, put on a sheitel and give a dab on each cheek and try to look nice. It’s a mitzvah and you get Olam Haboh for it, besides all the other benefits in this world.
TAPE # 509