Then there was the intensely controversial that was published in the Jewish Press right around Purim by Yitta Halberstam called "Purim and the Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim." Among the many ridiculous things written in this article, I think her comparison of the extreme beauty pageant of Achashveirosh to modern day Jewish girls is horribly misguided:
"The women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant – why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour?"
Seriously? You want to learn mussar for our daughters from the hedonistic, easily manipulated menuval who was basically complacent with our national destruction? Really?
For a great response to this article, read Rabbi Eliyahu Fink's post.
The plastic surgeon who commissioned the "Jewcan Sam" video, Michael Salzhauer, is actually under investigation by the American Society for Plastic Surgeons for violations of medical ethics in trying to "sell" the idea of plastic surgery.
On top of all that, Dr. Salzhauer now has the gall to offer plastic surgery, pro bono (that's free, for those of us less legal savvy folks) to unfortunate Orthodox Jewish singles who can't get a shidduch because of their looks, based on the recommendations of their shadchanim!
(Link hat-tip to Surfin' the Shidduch Scene. For a complete news coverage of this ongoing sage, see The Huffington Post).
This is SICK.
What is happening to the Jewish community? Instead of working on practical solutions to end the "shidduch crisis" we're focusing on the wrong things and creating more issues than we are solving.
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to physical attractiveness, and I've been to weddings where I wonder what the guy or girl saw in their new spouse in regard to their looks. But who cares what my opinion, or anyone else's is, when the chosson and kallah have found someone they find attractive and look forward to seeing when they wake up each morning?
It seems like in today's chumra-crazy society, we're taking the machlokes between Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai regarding how to praise an "ugly" bride at her wedding (Kesubos 17a) and adding in our own redaction to the Gemara. Whereas Beis Hillel says we should praise the bride as she is seen through her husband's eyes - clearly he finds her to be beautiful - Beis Shammai says we should stick to the truth and not lie about her lack of beauty.
So instead of holding like the position advocated by Beis Hillel, we're now going to make sure we can follow Beis Shammai too, since every "homely" girl out there will be objectively beautiful once she's been "fixed" thanks to Dr. Salzhauer and others, if this practice becomes the norm.
Why are we learning the wrong things from the secular society around us, which preaches and advocates the value of physical beauty above all else, including health and happiness. All this had led to is a dramatic increase in people going under the knife, eating disorders, years and years worth of therapy and doctor visits to correct damage done to women's bodies and minds, and who knows what else!
Where can we go next, as a society, if we don't stop these shenanigans soon? Check back later this week find out....