Translated by Rabbi Lazer Brody
King Solomon was right - the lie of charm. Women paint their faces and heads and men run after them. What could be more stupid?
"The G-d fearing woman shall be praised!" The Baal Shem Tov tells about his daughter Adel, and testifies that she had a spirit of holiness. She acquired her spirit of holiness because she was impeccably modest. And because of her modesty, she merited three fantastic children who all grew up to be spiritual giants in their own right - Rebbe Baruch of Medziboz, Rebbe Efraim of Sidelkov better known as the Degel Machan'e Efraim, and Faige, the mother of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev. A woman who preserves a high level of modesty and personal holiness gets measure-for-measure a high level of children.
If you want true marital peace, then you have to be truly modest. Isn't one husband enough? What do you need other men to look at you for? Even if a man sees a woman from far away, all types of negative drives and thoughts contaminate his brain and heart.
Every man should beg Hashem every single day in personal prayer to help him guard his eyes. We should direct all of our love and longing for Hashem, and not for the fantasy of some stupid lust. We have to beg Hashem to have pity on us and to help guard our eyes and rid ourselves of lust. But every woman should be begging Hashem to help her avoid attracting any other man. The Rambam teaches us that the worst thing is when a person causes someone else to sin. In Hebrew, that's call a machshil rabim - such a person cannot make teshuva as long as she continues to make men other than her husband look at her. Not only that, but her prayers go unanswered. If a woman is praying for something for a long time and her prayers aren't being answered, the problem could very well be that she has a breach in modesty or personal holiness.
So why did Hashem create us with all this lust and negative drives? When we have shortcomings and we're aware of them, we need Hashem's help to overcome them. We can't get along without Hashem. This is a gift. By having to beg Hashem to help us overcome all our lust and base urges, we get close to Hashem. So the way to attain true personal holiness and to become a tzaddik is to talk to Hashem every day in personal prayer and to ask Him to help us.
Only a true tzaddik can truly love his wife. He loves her every bit at 90 as he did when she was 19. Since he loves her for herself - and the for the amenities that he gets from her, physical or otherwise - his love is not dependent on her body. Many men think that they love their wives, but if they're still stuck in lust and debauchery, all they love is themselves and their own gratification. That's why these same men lose their heads the minute they see something that fuels their imagination and appears to be prettier than their wives. So, if a man doesn't guard his eyes and free himself of physical lust, he can't possibly love his wife in the true manner than a man should love his wife. The Mishna tells us this outright - any love that is dependent on an outside factor is not love.
True love is unconditional. A loving husband only wants to give - he neither needs nor expects anything in return. He's not waiting for a handout - physical or otherwise. This is true love and true marital bliss, when a man's love for his wife is not dependent on her beauty, her money, or anything else she has.
Personal holiness is the true connection that binds the souls of a man and woman.
The Zohar tells us that if a person's personal holiness is blemished, then all his Torah and mitzvoth are blemished. So if a person doesn't work on personal holiness, then all his Torah and mitzvoth go to the dark side, Heaven forbid.
Rebbe Yaacov Abuchatzera teaches that the first thing that a G-d seeking person must do is to correct personal holiness.
By correcting our personal holiness, we benefit by receiving the greatest gift on earth - marital bliss. It's well worth the price. Men need to pray to guard their eyes and their holy covenant. Women should pray and strive to be more modest. This is not easy - the holy Ohr HaChaim says that all of Hashem's mitzvoth are relatively easy, but tikkun Habrit, personal holiness, is something that is acquired with great difficulty. Why? Personal holiness is our most difficult test on earth. And that's why the rewards are so great.
The Rambam says something alarming - 999 people die of a breach in personal holiness, and one dies of natural reasons. Rav Shach used to say that one's personal holiness is no different from the holiness of a Torah scroll.
Nothing like personal holiness is so conducive to the full redemption of our people. If a divorce is tantamount to the destruction of our Holy Temple, then true marital peace will certainly make your home like a Bet Hamikdash - a Holy Temple. Not only that, when enough of us truly love our spouses like we should and strive for marital peace, we'll expedite the full redemption of our people, the coming of Moshiach, and the rebuilding of our Holy Temple, speedily and in our days, amen!