|| Home Page | Previous Print | 1995 Edition | Next Print | Shopping Cart ||
Women of Valor
Traditionally, this verse (`Eshet Chayyil', A Woman Of Valor ) from Book of Proverbs (31:10-31 ) is recited on the Sabbath by the Jewish husband to his wife. Enumerating her virtues, he honors her roles as housewife and mother of the family. Although `Eshet Chayyil' proclaims the importance of women in Judaism, the custom of reciting this passage originated among medieval kabbalah scholars who composed this poem as an acrostic in which the first letters of each of its twenty-two lines form the Hebrew Alphabet; thereby the illusrating their perception of the Divine Presence (Shekhinah) as the mystical wife and mother of Israel.
This elegant tribute and its thoughtful interpretation prompted the creation of 'Women Of Valor' in which Jewish women, wives and mothers throughout the generations are represented. A pomegranate, held aloft, is an integral part of this image, for legend equates the pomegranate's `613' seeds with the 613 categories of mitzvos, or laws of Judaism; many of which may only be fulfilled by women. It is this shared legacy, granting experience and wisdom, which joins 'Women Of Valor' together everywhere.
Text & Illustrations 1995 Ilene Winn-Lederer