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Did You Marry for Beauty or Money?

Did You Marry for Beauty or Money?

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Question:

I recently attended a chassidic wedding. It was a very different experience. One thing I had never seen before is that the bride wears a veil at the chupah that is so thick she can't see anything at all, and no one can see any of her face. What is the reason behind this?

Answer:

There's an old stereotype when it comes to marriage. Men marry women for their looks. Women marry men for their money. There are of course many exceptions to this rule. But there is some truth to it too.

Men fall for beauty. The fact that there are plenty of pretty girls with rotten character does nothing to stop the male quest for a beauty queen. And so, many wonderful girls are overlooked simply because they do not fit into today's narrow and superficial definition of beauty.

Meanwhile, women say they want a man who is financially stable, which is often just a euphemism for a rich guy. Somehow she thinks that if he has a seven digit bank balance he will know how to look after her. As if buying expensive jewellery and luxurious holidays is the only way to show her that he really cares. And the really nice guys who are not such high flyers are often left behind.

Of course we need to be attracted to our spouse. And of course we all need money to survive. But these are not the most essential ingredients for a happy marriage. Too often people fall for the outer version of what they truly seek. Rather than physical beauty, what we are really looking for is inner beauty and a sweet heart. It is not wealth we seek, what we really want is a steadfast and dependable source of support. It is only when we see beyond the superficial and meet a real person that we have a chance of finding and keeping our soulmate.

This is the message behind the thick veil. When the groom veils his bride, he is telling her, "I am not marrying you for your pretty face. I am marrying you for the beautiful person you are. So I can marry you with your face covered. Your beauty shines from within." And the bride being veiled is telling him, "This veil will prevent me from seeing what type of wedding ring you place on my finger. I don't care. I will accept whatever ring you give, because along with it, I get you. It is you I want to marry, not your money or the jewellery you buy me."

A rich guy can lose his money; a pretty girl her looks. But inner beauty and spiritual wealth are ours forever. A marriage based on such eternal values will conquer just about anything.

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Donald Graham Pennsylvania May 9, 2017

Great article Aron! Hips, eyes, and thighs, should not be the barometer by which a man should measure a potential wife. A wife who has a relationship with God would be more ideal. Why? Because she is able to stand at the intersection of his awesomeness and ugliness, and still encourage him to "better his best." When life deals him a bad hand, she helps him to reshuffle the deck and look at the problem with a new perspective. At the end of the day, a marriage is valued by what a husband and wife are willing to sacrifice for it. Reply

Anonymous Olympia August 20, 2013

Very good I am 47 and would love to be a wife again. However, men my age are always after the younger beautiful women. They don't seemed concerned about the woman who is kind, giving, loving, and respectful to the men in thier lives. Yes I would like a man who is finanially stable but my idea of financialy stable is a man who has a job and pays his bills. Not a man who is wealthy or comes from a wealthy family. I found this article to be of value for women who are gold diggers and the men who are only after the eye candy.

I have a male friend, well...I am not sure about that any more really. Every time he dates a woman he pretends I don't exhist. The thing is, the only reason he gives me the friend speech is becuase I am not young and beautiful like I was in my 20s anmore. People need to see the beautiful woman I am inside. Actually for my age I don't look that bad. A little chuncky but, I work out and watch what I eat. I wish men could see me as a wonderful woman who is supportive. Reply

rhl November 10, 2010

i wonder i met a married couple last night. she is young and attractive and he is not that attractive at all, but he drives a nice car and he seems like a really sweet guy. at the time my simple heart thought wow this is so sweet. she married this "ugly" dude but they must be soul mates cos he is so sweet to her. Now I am all jaded and thinking , ooops she married him for the money.

nah......... i think she married for love :) Reply

Menachem Posner for Chabad.org August 23, 2009

RE: Source/History Yes, this is quite an old idea. We read in the Code of Jewish Law 31:2 (quoting the 13th century sage, Rashba) that the bride’s face is covered in order to show that she is not concerned about what the groom is placing on her finger. Accordingly, one would assume that the veil was thick enough that she would not be able to see. Reply

Yehudis August 21, 2009

Source/History I'd like to know the source for the explanation given in the article. Is it R' Moss' own idea?

I wonder what has been the Jewish practice re veils in different countries and different eras. Very many religous Jewish women have sheer veils or veils with some thickness but not so thick that she needs to be led like a blind woman. Were opaque veils the custom for generations and are sheer veils a concession to the secular world or are opaque veils something relatively new and used only among certain groups of religious Jews? Reply

Nat Brooklyn, NY August 19, 2009

To Penina The bride sees and enjoys and dances at her wedding! Of course!
Her face is covered just for the few minutes of the chupah ceremony when she receives the ring. Reply

Penina , August 18, 2009

from Anon #2 on the 16th I appreciate and agree with all of the sentiments here, however my point was not that they are incorrect, false or not virtuous (I believe that they are).
My point was why, if the woman is not meant to marry for money (or I might add: looks) and men not for looks (or money) - why is it the female that ends up being the one who practically misses and barely participates in her own wedding?
I am an observant Jew and went to a Lubavitch girls' high school and I have heard all of Aron Moss', Jessica from Frankfurt's and Nat from Brooklyn's discussions on the topic - but they do not quiet in me the particular discomfort from seeing brides wearing blinder-hoods at their own weddings. Regardless of whether the napkin was from the Rebbe's table! It does not quiet in me the particular discomfort of the symbolism of the man having 'full sight' at this time of 'acquisition' when the woman can see nothing. Reply

Ela Texas August 18, 2009

looks and values Is it written somewhere that God made humans in His image? It follows, it seems to me, that beauty as a whole, comes from the divine source...it should be upheld, respected, emulated. And the two "opposites" -- spiritual and physical beauty -- can intermingle in one individual, woman or man.
Why does modern culture insist so much on the "ugliness inside Beauty" and the beauty of perceived plainness?It is a contemporary prejudice that has just leveled other eternal values (weren't most Biblical heroines beautiful outside and inside too?), unfortunately inspiring a majority to despise apriori a minority...? Similarly -- why should it be that a high-income man is necessarily "ugly"?
Should we hate to think that a beautiful young rich couple can be also gifted and virtuous?... (It's not an apologetic thought: I'm poor, also not so young, etc.)
Perhaps the veil should cover both bride and groom, to protect them from unkind worldly thoughts. Reply

m August 17, 2009

women are all spiritual and meaningful etc but at the end of the day guys care about girls looks! Reply

Fleur Vancouver, WA August 17, 2009

Marry for Inner Beauty You might say my husband and I married for the reason of being helpmates through whatever life threw at us. Both of us saw deep into the other's soul and loved the person we saw there. Outward appear ances didn't matter since we both felt flawed, but after nearly 34 years, we still rejoice when we have time together. We still share everything like we did when we were dating....and we still date romantically!!! Reply

Anonymous Philadelphia, PA August 17, 2009

Apples and Oranges Truely, I belive that one cannot compare beauty in women and money in men. To me, it seems like trying to compare apples with oranges. Marrying s/o based on looks is different than beauty. Im not saying its ok just to marry a man cuz he's a millionare. But a good marriage needs to start out wiht stability, financial stability. If u know that u are going to be able to pay the bills this month...thats one less stress you have to deal with as a new couple.
I dont think its ok to specifically look for a man wiht a 6figure paycheck, but making sure he can provide is def. key and should not be looked over! Reply

Yisroel August 17, 2009

Dear Anonymous from NYC Dear Anonymous from NYC,

With regards to marriage; advice should be sought from a professional one-on-one. Please consult with one of the Rabbis here on this site (they’re available basically at all times) – I’ll bet they’ll be helpful.

In any case, may G-D bless you in all your endeavors, Reply

Anonymous NYC, U.S. August 17, 2009

i recently met a very rare guy with a heart of gold (nice looking,intelligent, kind, fun & funny,considerate, caring, giving,compassionate, a real mentsh) to whom i am very atttracted .. we have an amazing connection and i feel he could be my soulmate...he's proposed, however, i have been very concerned that he does not have financial security (he had some setbacks in business)and being that we are both middle aged(both previously married) i worry if he should get sick what would be ( he also has a diabetic condition that scares me) I am currently unemployed as a result of economy. He is not as observant as i am but right after we met, he immediately began to do more, is eager to learn and insists he wants to be Shomer Shabbos and is really putting in the effort. He is very attentive and makes me feel very special...he appreciates me for what's on the inside too. I have been divorced fora long time & considered very attractive and have never met anyone like him...any advice? Reply

Nat Brooklyn, NY August 16, 2009

If the secular world would only know how happy, and truly bonded, chassidic couples (in general) are, they would all become chassidim! (Alas, the press creates the opposite and false impression.) Reply

Anonymous August 16, 2009

Excellent Article Thank you so much for posting this. Very well written. I find it very rare that a Chassidic person has such an acute understanding of the secular world. You have done remarkably well with this article. Well done! Reply

Jessica frankfurt, germany August 16, 2009

Very well written! The comments posted by "Anonymous" on August 16, 2009 are simply foolish. -- Think again!
"A rich guy can lose his money; a pretty girl her looks. But inner beauty and spiritual wealth are ours forever. A marriage based on such eternal values will conquer just about anything."
This is a fact of life, for if we base our lives on superficial values we are the ones who will suffer in the end. Reply

Anonymous Melbourne, Australia August 16, 2009

Give me a break So why doesn't he wear an opaque hood too? Reply

Anonymous August 16, 2009

verywell said...just one thing to comment: WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T TAKE OFF THE VEIL!!!! Reply

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