What qualities should one seek when looking for a wife?
Now, I only looked once so I am not an expert but I’ll tell you what I think. First of all, you have to find somebody who is physically and mentally healthy. That’s number one. Of course if you yourself are not physically or mentally healthy then you have to lower your price a little bit; but if you are then that is number one.
Secondly, you need someone who shares your ideals. If you want to be an observant Torah Jew then she has to be the same or at least willing. Now, I don’t approve of marrying with the intention of reforming someone; reforming should be done before marriage. You have to strike while the iron is hot; while there is still romance that’s when you can try to change the person. If you will postpone changing until after marriage, you are going to be disappointed because once you are married romance flies out of the window. And so that is an important requirement; your future partner must share your ideals.
Then we have to look for character. Character, although it is very important but it’s not the first thing. Because what good is good character if she is ill mentally or physically? And therefore it’s only after the first two requirements then you have to try to discover the middos. And this you will never discover, you will never know. Because love is blind and men don’t know anything about women.
If you have a grandmother, take her along to look at your kallah. She is not in love with the kallah; she looks at her with clear eyes and she is the very best to be judge. Your mother perhaps is prejudiced against you taking anybody but your grandmother is more charitable; she is willing to allow her grandson to get married but still she has clear eyes. It is important to have women pass judgment on a woman. Because you will never know. Now it doesn’t mean that they will know either but they will know more than you do.
Now, after she has passed all these hurdles then she is already a good candidate.
Of course if you have two that have fulfilled all the requirements and one comes from a frum family too, then of course a frum family is better than not a frum family.
If one has brothers who have good heads, baalei kishronos, that is a big thing because you want to have children who are not dumb. If you have stupid children you will have trouble in the yeshivos with them; could be they’ll be discouraged and unambitious children. So יבדוק באחיה – examine her brothers. But that is after the previous requirements are fulfilled.
Now, ‘looks’ are at the bottom of the list. Most people will never concede that fact but שקר החן והבל היופי. You shouldn’t forget this great principle that graciousness and beauty is just a falsehood. Men are inexperienced; they don’t realize how much preparation there was beforehand to make the curl look exactly this way. That little curl that snagged his heart, he doesn’t realize that he will see her the day after the marriage without that curl – she is not ready yet because it takes three hours to make it. So it is a pity that people go lost because of such superficialities.
However, suppose you have two that have both all qualities and one appeals to you more, then naturally you take the one that appeals more, certainly. But it certainly is not the number one requirement.
Now there are more things, but it is enough. I think I did a big favor to you, so be satisfied with that.
TAPE # 405