As she approached her fifties, Rachelle Weisberger, a long-time painter, cosmetologist and makeup artist, was in Synagogue when a particular line in the Hebrew Bible struck a chord. “And Sarah lived 127 years.” (Genesis 23:1) Fascinated by Sarah’s life and longevity, Rachelle began to investigate.
She spent the next fifteen years studying biblical scriptures, expert commentary, and other ancient texts about the beauty rituals and lives of the women mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Rachelle’s research resulted in a realization: many timeless lessons about beauty (inner and outer) and aging gracefully could be gleaned from the Bible. “History doesn’t change, human nature hasn’t changed and that is why the Bible is still relevant,” says Rachelle. “These women were very active and involved in their communities well into their elder years and that is why they’re inspirational role models for us.”
Rachelle compiled her research into “Biblical Beauty,” her book which makes the case that “the Bible is a beauty manual like any other.” The chapters in her book each begin with the story of a woman mentioned in the Bible. Each woman’s story inspires a modern beauty lesson. Below, are a few that are specifically relevant to FOFs.
Bathsheba — Skin Care
Biblical Story: “She [Bathsheba] was typically depicted bathing…with her creamy, porcelain skin…It was during such a moment that King David, Israel’s greatest monarch, first noticed her…David was only thinking of the fate of his soldiers when he glanced down from his perch and saw Bathsheba washing within the walls of an open courtyard. The curves of her naked body shimmering in the moonlight aroused his desire for her.” (Biblical Beauty, p. 5)
Rachelle’s Beauty Lesson: “Today when scientifically advanced skin care products are considered cutting edge, the principles of daily skin care and many ingredients used–from olive oil to honey–are remarkably similar to what a woman like Bathsheba would have incorporated into her beauty regimen. Less can be more. Downsize your beauty routine by choosing a few multifunctional skin care products that are suited to your skin type. Many of these products can be found in health food stores, drugstores and supermarkets.” (Biblical Beauty, p. 9 and p. 12)
Deborah — Sun Care
Biblical Story: “[Deborah was] a powerful military figure, an important prophet and a judge who settled disputes. When Israelites came to hear her judgements, they met under a palm tree, which became known as ‘the date palm of Deborah.’ It’s possible that the wise choices Deborah made in settling everyday problems extended to protecting her skin as well. Deborah must have realized that the hot, dry Middle Eastern climate could damage her skin, leaving it rough, dry and wrinkled.” (Biblical Beauty, p. 27-28)
Rachelle’s Beauty Lesson: “A hot, sunny day isn’t the only time to be proactive about the sun. Unlike UVB rays, UVA rays are equally potent year-round and at all times of the day. An overcast day isn’t an excuse to let your guard down since 80 percent of the sun’s rays penetrate clouds…If you had to select only one skin care product for your entire beauty routine what would it be? If preventing premature lines, wrinkles and discoloration is important, the answer should be sunscreen.” (Biblical Beauty, p. 31-32)
Sarah — Healthy Aging
Biblical Story: “Sarah exemplified how someone well into her advanced years could be regarded as a stalwart community and spiritual leader and, at the same time, maintain her extraordinary beauty. Throughout her astonishing lifetime of 127 years, Sarah emanated vitality and natural radiance, along with mental and emotional well-being…At 65, she still attracted influential admirers, including Egypt’s Pharaoh, and, later, the Philistine King of Gerar.” (Biblical Beauty, p. 119-120)
Rachelle’s Beauty Lesson: “In contemporary times, reaching Sarah’s age is not an unrealistic goal. As the number of men and women living 110 years or more grows, these supercentenarians have become an invaluable resources for scientific investigation into longevity…Diet for the health-conscious person represents a gateway to revitalization and longevity–and a way of life. Many scientists believe that foods high in minerals, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients work synergistically to promote health and lower disease risk…Two powerful antioxidants that have been called anti-aging miracles are resveratrol and quercetin, both found in red wine, which are being investigated for their disease-fighting features.” (Biblical Beauty, p. 119-120)
More beauty secrets can be found in Rachelle’s book, Biblical Beauty ($18.95, paperback, Anbern Press).