Her Husband, the Master Chef

Her Husband, the Master Chef

Last week I came across a viral video of a religious father of 8 kids who was a contestant this month on the popular Israeli cooking show “Master Chef.” 

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis watch Master Chef every week, and I bet a substantial percentage of married women watching the father on this show were thinking something along the lines of

“If only my husband could cook like this guy…”

“All my husband can do is make toast! And even that he burns!”

“This contestant’s wife is sitting pretty! Maybe he could give my husband lessons, LOL!”

But when I clicked on the video, I realized I’ve heard about this contestant before.

He’s the husband of Tamar Nizri, author of the recent JewishMOM.com post “My Husband Doesn’t Help in the House, and That’s OK.” 

In the article Tamar laments having a husband who, despite his many positive qualities, rarely helps her with the kids or around the house. Aside from doing the shopping and making the kids sandwiches, all the responsibilities involved in managing a home with 8 children fall on her.

I thought of the Nizris this Shabbat when a friend introduced me to an idea I’d never heard before: Shmirat Ainayim for women. Most of us are familiar with the concept of Shmirat Ainayim (Guarding the Eyes) for men. This means that if, for example, an observant man sees a bathing suit ad, he turns his eyes away.

But Shmirat Ainayim for women, my wise friend pointed out, is no less important.

This means that when a woman sees another woman’s “perfect” husband, “perfect” kids, “perfect” home, she turns her eyes away towards her own blessings.

Which actually are truly perfect–for her.












  1. I remember that post and I think of it often. It had been a nechama for me. But now I see it’s not true! He’s a master chef.

    • I think it still can be a nechama for you–she is married to a man who is a master chef and also provides minimal help in the house and with the kids. And just like your husband is perfect for you (with his limitations), so too she has come to feel that her husband (with his limitations) is perfect for her.

  2. I once overheard a group of women discussing how their husbands help at home. One claimed that her husband vacuumed every Motzai Shabbat. The next one said that her husband takes the kids to the park every Sunday. “Mine washes the Shabbat dishes!” said another. “Well,my husband washes the dishes every night!” announced the fourth woman.
    Everyone stopped for a moment, incredulous.
    Finally, one lady challenged her statement. “Every single night??”
    “Yes,he bought me a dishwasher last year, so the dishwasher is his way of washing those dishes every night!”
    (Different strokes for different folks)
    I had a friend who used to sing a popular Israeli (secular) song about an imperfect husband, but the chorus went something like: “but believe me,that for me he is better than all the others”

  3. I was at a friends house and was surprised to see her making supper since her husband owns a catering company! She said that after cooking for everyone else he comes home and expects a nice supper from his wife. She said that every man has his shtik and her husbands shtik is his wife cooking a nice supper for him. Go figure. 1

  4. wow very powerful!

  5. noga hullman

    Thanks Jenny, eye-opening.
    Just to add that a. he’s not master-chef yet… It was just the auditions that he passed. And b. A lot of people have hobbies / professions that don’t translate into their family life. (Some do. I know several art teachers who buy materials for their kids and instruct them at home.) I’ll give myself as an example: I’m a professional tour guide. But if anyone thinks that my kids go on a monthly hike or trip to the museum…. no, no. Any day, I prefer sitting in the couch corner reading a book.
    If you’ve heard this guys’ wife in the show, she said: “he should really be the one cooking in the kitchen.” That probably means that he’s not.

    • hi noga– thanks for the clarification. Maybe Barak should try out for Master Chef?:)

  6. I had heard before (from i think r yemima mizrahi) women should also be careful when We hear men’s shiurim, because it may happen that We Will think “if only my husband would have such jojma torah “”if he could speak as this rab” and so on….at the end the result is the same: our respect and admiration for our husband drops to the floor….
    We should have a lot of respect, Love and emuna!!! Our husband is the Best way Hashem wants us to work on ourselves!! And be very happy with that…We are only human! Not perfect ángels and be grateful with our lot

  7. There is a famous dvar Torah (I wish I could remember from where I heard it) about the cloud surrounding Sarah Imeinu’s tent. It was one of her brachos. How could a cloud around one’s tent be a bracha? You can’t see anything, it’s just cloudy all the time! The cloud was to protect her from seeing what was going on in everyone else’s tent. Her husband was not like ANY other man, totally different. This tent was a bracha because it kept her from looking at other people and thinking that her husband and her life were strange. It was her “shmiras einayim”.

    • wow, thanks ilana

    • That’s a beautiful limud about the cloud over Sarah’s tent,and good to apply in many homes.
      Yet some people are unfortunately living in terrible situations and need to have a way of checking what is normal.

  8. I agree with this so much, thanks for sharing! It’s so easy to compare and feel like we have it worse but that’s just a waste of time. And also we should remember not to tell other women how their husbands should do X or Y or be broadcasting what we do at home, totally unnecessary competition.

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