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210. A Handsome Flaw in You

I heard

It the Talmud: “He who had said to her, to his wife, ‘until you see a handsome flaw in you.’ Rabbi Ishmael, son of Rabbi Yosi said that the Creator says that she cannot cleave to him, until you see a handsome flaw in you” (Nedarim 66b). The first interpretation of the Tosfot means that she is forbidden to enjoy until she can find a handsome thing.

This means that if one can say that he, too, has nice things with which he had helped the Creator, so they can cleave to one another, so why has He not helped another? This must be since he has good things in him, that he has good faith or good qualities, since he has a good heart, that he can pray.

And this is the meaning of his commentary: “He said unto them, ‘perhaps like a handsome woman?’” This means that there is an external mind, better than all his contemporaries. Or “perhaps her hair is handsome?” This means that he is as meticulous with himself as a hair’s breadth. Or “perhaps her eyes are fair?” This means that he has more grace of holiness than all the people of his generation. Or “perhaps his ears are handsome?” This means that he cannot hear any slander.

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