A WOMAN OF WORTH
Posted 24 March 2006on:
I love the box; shame about the toy Yeah, we all know who wants to play with this
I have to show dad how to do everything
A little while ago Axe posted a wonderful piece, which got me on my soap box spouting off about the Jewish stance towards women and sex. Here are just a few points. Women are NOT considered to be second class citizens; men and women have separate roles; a man is not complete without a woman; it is a man’s duty to satisfy his wife; her sexual needs come before his; women have been endowed with more wisdom and understanding than men.
I could go on there is so much more. However, today I received a lovely email from a friend asking where they could find out more about Judaism and I pointed them to my link “My Religion” (http://jewfaq.org/toc.htm) which covers everything in a fairly simplistic way, including the role of women.
I would like to share with you the essence of a famous biblical poem in praise of the good wife (Proverbs 31: 10-31). This is recited or sung to the women of the household on a Friday evening before the Sabbath meal. It is called Eshet Chayil, A Woman of Worth. It describes the ideal Jewish housewife, who is trusted by her husband and admired by her people. She is kind to the poor and gentle to all. She is self-respecting and dignified. Husband and children praise her as the source of their happiness. Above all, a man must treat his wife with love and sympathy and respect for she is a part of him.
“Nothing in ancient literature equals this remarkable attestation to the dignity and individuality of woman.” (Abrahams)
“A good wife, who can find. She is worth far more than rubies… She reaches out her arms to the needy… Dignity and honour are her garb; she smiles looking at the future… She looks after her household; she never eats the bread of idleness. Her children rise and bless her, and her husband praises her. Many women do worthily, but you excel them all! Grace is elusive and beauty is vain; only a G-d fearing woman deserves praise… Give her credit for the fruits of her labours and let her achievements praise her at the gates.”
I love this song and I love the feeling of warmth it brings. I am not sure how worthy I am; I know I sadly lack, which means there is room for change and room for growth. It is a good thing that the men recognise the value of their women. Anyone can sing it; the children can sing it to their mother or for any of the women at the dinner table; in fact we all join in.
Thank you for indulging and sharing a little of the spiritual part of me.
With love and best wishes to everyone for a restful weekend and Shabbat Shalom.