Thursday, July 24, 2014

.י"ג Provincial Beauty

ותהי אסתר נשאת חן [בעיני כל ראיה] אר"א מלמד שלכל אחד ואחד נדמתה לו כאומתו
What is the גמרא getting at here? From where do we see that the פסוק would insinuate such a miracle? Is it not possible that she simply found favour in everyone's eyes? The גמרא is conveying a very simple idea. אחשורוש ruled over the entire world. The capital was most certainly populated by people from all nationalities and walks of life, each with their own standards of beauty and pleasantness based on the culture of their homeland. It was therefore unfathomable that all of these individuals would each have a similarly favourable opinion of אסתר. Therefore, by means of a miracle, she appeared to each and every person as one of their own.

A woman recently explored this phenomenon in an intriguing 21st century way. She took a simple picture of herself and then commissioned individuals from all walks of life all over the world to digitally beautify her. As expected, the results were staggeringly diverse each reflecting the artists own definition of beauty as influenced by their local society.

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