Parshat VaYetzei

Parshas Veyetze: Real Beauty

In this week’s Parsha, Parshas Veyetze, the pasuk says “Leah’s eyes were tender, while Rachel was beautiful in from and appearance, Yakov Loved Rachel.” If one were to quickly glance at this pasuk, it would seem that Yakov loved Rachel only for her beauty and outer appearance. However with what we know about Yakov Avinu, our forefather dedicated to chesed and Torah learning, there must be an explanation of this pasuk beyond the simple meaning.

Twice a day we say in Shema, “Do not explore after your heart and after your eyes.” But does this mean that we should not care at about what something looks like, or that Yakov Avinu should not have cared about what Rachel looked like? Of course not! What we learn from this Pasuk that the sight before our eyes cannot be the determining factor for if we should love.

We see this idea displayed throughout Torah. When Moshe Rabeinu sent out the spies to check out the land of Israel, they came back with negative report about the land, saying that it was dangerous and filled with giants. The punishment klal Yisrael received on behalf of them was because they let their eyes, rather than their wisdom, or faith in Hashem make the de3cision of whether the land was good enough. They got totally caught up in the physical and forgot that Hashem had just taken them out of Egypt and split the red sea for them. If they would have remembered this, than they would realized that Hashem could take on a couple of Giants.

Even in last weeks Parsha, when Eliezer comes to look for a wife for Yizchok, he did not rely solely on what Rivkah looked like to determine if she was right for Yakov. We learn that she displayed chesed towards not only Eliezer, but also all of his camels. It was than when Eliezer saw her inner beauty, when he realized she was the right one for Yitchok.

Similarly, we cannot assume that Yakov was only concerned with Rachel’s physical beauty. However, we learn that because of Rachel’s midos and Yiras Shamayim, Hashem told her that the Jewish people would come back to Israel. As the midrash says, “Your children will return to the borders.”

Sometimes, the aspects that really make up a person are beyond the surface of their skin. Too often do we focus only on what some one looks like and let physical differences separate us from others. In reality, what a person looks like does not matter as much as we think.

Beauty plays a role, but not the main one. It is important to have a balance, and understand how both inner and outer beauty play role in the decisions we make, and in Yakov’s position, the woman he loves.

Student studying in Netiv Aryeh