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Eishet Chayil – the inspiration

March 22, 2010

Today, I woke up with a sudden realization that an Eishet Chayil (Ay-shet Kha-yil) is not a wimp!  I am in training to become an Eishet Chayil, so I have to lay aside every hint of wimpiness! If I feel afraid, I must counter with courage.  If I feel lazy, I must counter with industry.  If I feel weak, I must counter with joy! If I feel discouraged, I must counter with Scripture!  I must not cower! I am commanded to be an overcomer — the head, and not the tail.  My feelings should be recognized, just as a roach on the floor should be recognized, but my feelings are only emotions, not my motivation.

Who – and what – is an Eishet Chayil?

Eishet can be translated from Hebrew to English as woman or wife.

Chayil can be translated as virtuous, valorous, strong, and courageous.

The Eishet Chayil is truly defined in Proverbs (Mishlei) 31:10-32.  This passage describes not only the ideal woman, but the ideal wife.  Eishet Chayil is also the song of praise and joy that a Jewish, Israeli, or Hebrew man sings to his wife at the sabbath dinner table.  If she is not yet an Eishet Chayil, this is his statement of hope and faith that she will grow into the role.  If she is achieving the role of an Eishet Chayil, she glows with pride and joy that her efforts are recognized and appreciated.  She is inspired each week to reach for the goal of actually earning the prized title.

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