CHAYEI SARAH: WHAT SHOULD A MAN LOOK FOR IN A WOMEN?
Many things, obviously. The question is what is the most important. A question less often raised is just the opposite. What should a women look for in a man? In one of the most detailed narratives in the Bible, we read about the fascinating search for an eligible wife for Isaac. Surely, much depended on finding the right one as this girl was destined to be a matriarch of the Jewish people. Eliezer, the man appointed with this crucial 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 that will infuse him with the confidence that she fits the role of a Jewish mother and wife to Isaac. So He asks G-d to lead him to a girl who would show kindness to strangers. You may ask, why must the kindness be offered to a stranger? Answer: because only then do you know that the kindness is genuine. This then becomes 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 must peer slightly deeper. A woman should look for a man who is looking for kindness in a woman. What an insight. This alone 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. 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 genuine kindness to strangers.