Yeshaya Hanavi's Criticism of Female Cosmetics

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    In Yeshaya the Navi criticizes different practices that women use to look pretty even today.

    1. Eye liner

    2. high heels

    3. multiple necklaces

    Why are these practices not assur? (Not that I want to them to be assur – but why women are permitted this?)


    I’ve never heard this before. Is there a perek and possuk, or even a gemorra which you can reference, so that I can see this for myself?


    on the ball

    He does not criticize eye-liner or necklaces. In Perek 3 Posuk 16 he criticizes:

    1) The way they stretch their necks in a haughty fashion

    2) The way they wink their eyes (see meforshim)

    3) The way they walk raising themselves.

    The pesukim following this posuk are not a criticism of their dress, just a list of what Hashem will take away from them including many obviously permissible items like bracelets, ribbons, tablecloths, mirrors and much more.

    However, high heels would at first glance seem to be an issue from that Posuk.

    lebidik yankel

    There is a takanas ezrah that peddlers sell cosmetics in towns so that Jewish women look pretty. Miriam knew that Moshe separated from his wife Tzipporah because she stopped dressing up for him (Yalkut).

    So Jewish women ought to look nice and presentable. They should not be seductive, at least in public. That is what Yeshaya was discussing.

    I hope that frum Jewish women today dress within those lines. Its not the details – the necklace or whatever – but the general profile.


    OTB: What is the issue with heels?


    I think they overdid it and they had bad intentions in doing so.

    JayMatt19, it is in Yeshaya, around perek 3. Gemorah in Shabbos, perek “Be’ma ha’ishah…”, elaborates further.


    pretty sure I remember learning that it said they put perfume in their heels which released perfume every time they walked and attracted attention

    on the ball

    avhaben; the pasuk seemingly criticises how they would walk on their tiptoes as a way of attracting undue attention. High heels serve the same purpose. Just observing. The point Yeshaya makes about the perfume in their heels is a different one at the end of that pasuk.


    Thanks everyone. I remember learning that eye liner was used for zonahs.


    Isaiah 3:16-17

    The daughters of Zion? Too proud.

    Their necks are outstretched to the cloud.

    They make noise as they walk,

    In the town they’re the talk,

    And their makeup is awfully loud.

    So these acts caused the Lord to see red.

    He will smite them all hard on the head.

    Those girls will then pay

    For their haughty display.

    And he’ll bare all that’s hidden, it’s said.

    Contributed, but not composed, by HaLeVia


    Very clever and creative, HaLevia!

    Where does it come from?

    Mods: did my earlier post disappear? if it says I move too fast, does that mean it didn’t post?


    HaLeiVi: haha +1



    A limerick-writing friend of mine wrote it, a while back.


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