Lots of things, obviously. The question is what is most important.
A question less raised is just the opposite. What should a women look for in a man?
In one of the most detailed narratives of the Bible, we read about the fascinating story of the search for a wife for Isaac. To be sure much depends on finding the right one as this girl is destined to be a matriarch of the Jewish people.
Eliezer who is the man appointed with this important task first goes to the well and prays to G-d. Alone in a foreign land, looking for the right girl poses a serious challenge. So he asks G-d for a sign. A sign which will make it clear to him that the girl would be the right one to play the role of the Jewish mother and be the wife of Isaac.
So He asks G-d to show him a girl who would show kindness to strangers. You may ask, why the kindness must be offered to a stranger. Answer: because only then do you know if the kindness is genuine.
This then is the timeless answer for all Jewish men seeking to find a Jewish wife. The answer in one word is: kindness. In two words: genuine kindness.
But what about the second question. What should a women look for in a man?
This answer is derived from the same narrative, only we have to look a little deeper.
A woman should look for a man who is looking for kindness in a woman.
What an insight....
How this could transform attitudes and relationships amongst young people today. In a world that is fast becoming moulded by the forces of social media, young people are being sucked into a vicious cycle of pretension and alienation. Where the rates of stress, anxiety and depression especially amongst young girls have skyrocketed, primarily because they feel pressured to constantly project themselves as “looking good” in the eyes of their “friends”.
The timeless lesson we learn from this week’s Torah portion is that it is not your “Facebook page” that tells the true story of you or your “friends”.
For that you have to step out into the real world and discover real people who offer kindness to strangers.