“What a rare find is a capable wife! Her worth is far beyond that of rubies” PROVERBS 31:10 (The Israel Bible™)
This chapter contains an extended poem in praise of the eishet chayil, translated here as ‘capable wife,’ but generally referred to as the ‘woman of valor’ (verses 10-31). She provides for her family in all ways, both materially and spiritually, and her endeavors and accomplishments are praised by the members of her household and by others. This poem is sung by Jews around the world on Friday nights, as they begin the first Shabbat meal. It is often understood as a praise for the Jewish woman who works hard to care for her family and for others, and to prepare for the Shabbat each week. On a more mystical plane, it has been said in the name of the sixteenth century Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, who is known by the acronym Arizal, that “the Land of Israel is the earthly manifestation of the woman of valor.” When the Children of Israel follow Hashem faithfully in this unique land, they are provided for, both materially and spiritually. And, the beauty and charm of Eretz Yisrael are recognized and praised by all, Jews and non-Jews alike.