Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

29
Oct

Eshet Chayil – Natural Respect

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“Her children arise and praise her, her husband, and he lauds her.”

I have risen for rabbis, teachers, honored leaders, and my parents all my life. Most of the time I stood up as I was supposed to. There were a few times in my life when I naturally stood, not as an obligation, in honor of a person by virtue of who he or she was or had done. I have stood up in middle of teaching a class to honor an insight or question from one of my students. The times I rose as a natural response remain permanently etched in my mind as they have so much more meaning than rising pro-forma. I remember rising before Mr Altman z”l in St Louis, and Martha Cohen a”h in Lincoln Square Synagogue. I stood up when my father zt’l entered a room, not because I was obligated, but because his bearing and greatness demanded that I rise before him.

I have always read this verse as focusing on the Woman of Valor’s children and husband rising in her honor, not on their praises. I picture a woman who has so much natural dignity that people cannot help but rise before her to honor her.

I believe that I would have stood whenever my father entered a room even if not obligated to rise before a father and rebbi, but the Mitzvah changed my rising into standing for God’s honor, for God’s commandment. The Mitzvah added a deeper dimension to the simple act of rising before my father.

This verse adds a similar dimension to a husband and children rising in honor of the Eishet Chayil. They rise not only in honor of this great Woman of Valor; they rise before all that she represents, all that was described in the earlier verses. We rise before the Woman of Valor and honor, not only her, but the eternal values she embodies.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Oct

Eshet Chayil – Long Term Vision

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“She anticipates the ways of her household, and partakes not of the bread of laziness.”

Sarah always thought of the long term future for her family. She gave Hagar to Abraham so he could build a family. She insisted that Abraham expel Yishmael to protect Isaac. Sarah anticipated the needs of her household and all her descendants. She understood the eternal impression made by all she did and treated all her actions with that degree of importance.

We often react to an immediate situation with a child or spouse without considering the long-term effects of our reaction. The Woman of Valor considers all the implications of her actions and words. She anticipated their effect. She does not react impetuously, but with careful thought and planning.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Oct

Eshet Chayil – Torah of Love

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and a lesson of kindness is on her tongue.”

Rabbi Elazar asked, “Is there a Torah of Kindness and a Torah that is not of kindness? We must say that Torah studied “Lishma,” with love of God, is a Torah of kindness, and that Torah studied without love of God is a Torah without kindness.” (Succah 49b)

Rabbi Elazar understands this verse as describing a woman who constantly functions with a deep sense of love of God.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Oct

Eshet Chayil – True Majesty

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“Strength and majesty are her raiment, she joyfully awaits the last day.”

There is a famous story about my great-uncle, Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer zt”l: He learned that there was an ancient debilitated widow who lived in his neighborhood in Jerusalem. She could not even get up from her bed. People brought food to her everyday, but she had no one to clean up. Rav Isser Zalman paid for a woman to clean the house and the widow every Friday, and would visit her immediately after she was cleaned up.

One day the woman said, “Rebbe, bless me!”

“With what shall I bless you,” he asked.

“With a long life.”

The great sage was shocked, “Do you want to continue living like this for a long time?”

“Rebbe, every Friday, right after the woman cleans me up, I ask her for a glass of water. It is the only time during the week when my body is clean enough for me to recite a blessing. I wait the entire week just to say that blessing. I want to have many years of reciting that once a week blessing.”

Rav Isser Zalman blessed her as she wished. She outlived him.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Oct

Eishet Chayil – Appreciating The Value Of Her Words

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“She makes a cloak to sell, and delivers a belt to the peddler.”

Bar Kappara used to sell sayings for denarii. ‘While you are still hungry, eat; while you art still thirsty, drink; while your pot is still hot, empty it out.’ (Berachot 62b) The Imrei Noam explains that Bar Kappara would only say something that he knew people felt was valuable enough to pay to learn.

The Eishet Chayil only shares thoughts she knows are valuable.

The Gra elaborates that Bar Kappara would teach practical lessons in ethical behavior, symbolized by a cloak, as the Talmud (Bava Batra 57b) teaches, “R. Yochanan asked R. Bana’ah, ‘How long should the under-garment of a Talmid Chacham be?’ He replied: “So long that his flesh should not be visible beneath.” The cloak symbolizes modesty and careful behavior.

The cloak made by the Woman of Valor is one of modesty. She does not speak only to be heard or for people to pay attention to her. She speaks only when she sees that people will appreciate and use her wisdom.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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28
Oct

Eshet Chayil – The Dignifier

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“Distinctive in the councils is her husband, when he sits with the elders of the land.”

Clearly, the Midrash credits the accomplishments of the great men of the bible to their wives. However, not every husband merits or deserves to sit among the elders of the land. Is the Woman of Valor defined by her husband’s position in the community?

The Midrash sees God bringing honor and dignity to the elders of the land: “Rabbi Avin said, ‘In the future, the Holy One, Blessed is He, will set up the elders of Israel in a semicircle, and He Himself will sit at the head of all of them.’ King Solomon said, ‘I saw Him sitting with them and judging with them, as it is stated, ‘Her husband is well-known at the gates, as he sits among the elders of the land.” (Tanchuma, Shemot #29)

The Woman of Valor raises her husband’s dignity, not only by virtue of her accomplishments and bearings, but by constantly treating him with dignity for who he really is.

I recall meeting the newly engaged bride of one of my father zt”l’s students, someone not known for his great scholarship or accomplishments. “You can ask my future husband any question and he’ll be able to answer you,” she said. I was about to accept her dare when I noticed the look on my father’s face, and chose to behave politely. I later asked my father what would happen when she found out that her husband was not the great scholar she believed. “Every spouse has to identify what makes their spouse special, and honor him or her for that quality. Either she will be more generous than you and see what makes him unique, or she’ll be sorely disappointed.”

Project Dignity must be part of every marriage. We have to identify the best qualities in the other and dignify them for who and what they really are.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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28
Oct

Eshet Chayil – Raising Greatness

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“Luxurious bedspreads she made herself, linen and purple wool are her clothing.”

Unless the verse means that the clothing make the woman, we have to wonder which quality is described in this verse.

“This refers to Sarah, whose children became Kohanim Gedolim (High Priests) and served in garments of linen and purple wool.” (Tanchuma, Chayei Sarah #4)

“This refers to Samson’s mother, who would weave and sell her work in the marketplace to support her son so he could sit and study Torah.” (Batei Midrashot 2)

“This refers to Batsheba, who merited that her son, Solomon would ascend to the throne dressed in linen and purple wool, and ruled the earth from one end to the other.” (Midrash Mishlei)

All the Midrashim understand this verse as describing a woman who raises her children for greatness. Maimonides speaks of the Kavanah (intention) we must have when we bring children in the world, as believing that this child will change the world.

The Woman of Valor is not the woman who believes and brags that her children are the best in the world. She is focused on nurturing the great and specific potential of each member of her household. She cares for the seeds of expansion in her husband and children. She is determined to raise greatness.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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28
Oct

Eshet Chayil – Only the Best!

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“She fears not snow for her household, for her entire household is clothed with scarlet wool.”

Uh oh! I’m not wearing scarlet wool! Our children are not clothed in scarlet wool. Neither is Pip. And here I was convinced that my wife is a perfect example of the Eishet Chayil. Even worse, my wife may not fear the snow, but she does resent the mess Pip makes when he is covered with snow.

The Midrash comes to Debbie’s rescue: “This verse describes Rahab, who did not fear the approaching Jewish army because she had her scarlet thread as a sign of the promise made to protect her.”

The Midrash understands this verse as describing a woman who does not fear life’s challenges because she trusts in her merit. She sees the best of her family. She focuses on their accomplishments and growth. She revels in their development as good human beings. She takes pride in their commitments. She is confident in their abilities and goodness.

The Woman of Valor’s perspective shapes the view of her entire household; they too, see the best in themselves and the family. They stand with her and face the future fearlessly in their garments of good and light.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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28
Oct

Eshet Chayil: A Woman Transformed

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“She spreads out her palm to the poor, and extends her hands to the destitute.”

“About whom is this verse written? The widow of Zarephath who sustained Elijah with bread and water.” (Batei Midrashot 2)

A strange example! The widow was only able to feed Elijah through the prophet’s miraculous blessing that supplied her with food. Of course she fed him; he brought food into her home.

Her great act seems to be trusting Elijah when he told her, “Fear not! Go do as you have said: but first prepare a small cake from it for me, and bring it out to me. And prepare for yourself and your son, afterward.” (Kings I 17:13) She had “only a handful of flour in a jug, and a bit of oil in a cruse.” She was preparing to, “Eat it and then we will die.” Elijah asked her to first feed him her final food before she ate her last meal. She trusted him, and “She ate, her and her household, for a year.”

Why would the Midrash understand her actions as charity rather than trust? Perhaps the Sages perceived that she did not share her food with Elijah because of his promised miracle, but as an expression of generosity by a desperate woman.

No wonder the story continues with a woman transformed: “The son of the woman, the landlady;” she is no longer as the widow, but as a woman, a landlady. She regained her dignity through her charity.

She transformed herself from the “widow” to the “landlady” by her act of generosity even as she prepared to eat the very last of her food.

Our verse is not describing a charitable woman, but a Woman of Valor who transforms herself through her generosity. She does not simply hand out food to the poor, nor simply drop some coins into a Tzedakka box; the Woman of Valor appreciates each charitable act as a transformation into a higher being. She is not the overwhelmed woman caring for the needs of her husband, children and guests. She understands that each time she extends her hand to help another, she is grabbing an opportunity to grow. She revels in the demands made of her. She does not resent them. She treasures each opportunity to become The Woman Transformed, the true Woman of Valor.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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28
Oct

Eshet Chayil – The Resourceful Woman

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“Her hands she stretches out to the distaff, and her palms support the spindle.”

The common explanation of this verse is  that it describes the industrious woman who applies herself to the task of making clothing for her family, or to sell at a profit. (See “The Privilege of Purpose”) It seems to me that such a reading creates crushing demands on a woman who aspires to be a Woman of Valor.

The Midrash (Batei Midrashot 2) understands this verse as a warrior woman, Jael, who killed Sisera with a tent-peg rather than a weapon to demonstrate that she did not need a man’s weapon to slay the mighty general. The Woman of Valor is resourceful. She will use whatever she has at hand to deal with whatever comes her way. The Tanchuma (Chayei Sarah #4) describes Sarah, the original subject of the Eishet Chayil, as always finding a way to welcome guests into her home.

This verse is not a demand for more work; it is praise of resourcefulness, of managing the challenges of life with whatever is available.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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