Five Minute Friday (II) Eshet Chayil


The family hurry home to beat the setting sun.

When the stars appear in the sky, with the closing of curtains against the night, the Shabbat candles are lit and the family gather round to welcome in their rest. Here and now, hearts and homes filled with the blessings of G-d. Words of thanksgiving and deep remembrance. G-d has touched their past and he touches the here and now. And I am told that amongst the words of  kiddush and havdalah and the challah loaves, the father of the home will celebrate the everyday valour of his wife with the words of proverbs 31.

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.

The Hebrew words are Eschet Chayil: woman of strength, valour and esteem, woman of achievement, mighty woman  of G-d.

She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.

Eschet Chayil!

Like the anthem for a warrior returning from war, the woman of the home is praised. Praised amongst her children and her friends. Praised in the work place, out and beyond.

In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Eschet Chayil!

Across this table of blessing, in the glow of candles the words light up, not as an agenda of impossible high standards but as a celebration of everywoman and who her creator intended her to be.

Eschet Chayil!

A woman of valour who can find? But we have found her here. She was in our home caring for our children or out at work earning the daily bread. When a problem arose she committed to solutions and where there were none she never gave up. How the mighty have fallen, but this woman just picked herself up.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honour her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Eschet Chayil!

I am indebted to the writing of Rachel Held Evans for my understanding of Eshet Chayil, alongside the poetic and beautiful writings of her warrior sisters Sarah Bessey and Glennon Melton.

May you be as inspire as I am, mighty women of valour, Eshet Chayil!


What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Today’s prompt is, ‘MIGHTY’



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