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KD Daily - A Woman of Valor

Today is DAY THIRTY-FOUR, which makes FOUR WEEKS and SIX DAYS of the Omer.

__________ Torah for Today

— Cantor Sarah Silverberg

Growing up, my family gathered every Friday night to say the candle blessings, blessings over the children, kiddush, and motzi. It was a time I looked forward to all week long. The past seven weeks gathering to say the blessings over Zoom with all of you has been such an incredible blessing. Gathering with Marc and my girls is a special moment of respite and relief after a long week.

My aunt and uncle had an additional Shabbat table tradition. My uncle would recite the translation of Eishet Chayil, a "Woman of Valor," for my aunt. This text from Proverbs has come to signify the respect and importance of women to the family and Jewish community. My uncle always recited this poem with such love and affection for my aunt. Even as a young child, I knew that the description didn’t exactly match my aunt, but the love and respect of the moment touched me deeply.

As liberal Jews, this traditional text can be problematic. The author has a one-sided view of the role of woman, placing them in the home to provide for their family. The author of Proverbs probably could have never imagined the multi-faceted, full lives women lead. We believe in the equality of women in the home, at work, in the synagogue, and our community.

Yet, I understand that the essence of this text is meant to honor our matriarchs - the grandmothers, moms, step-moms, friends like a mom - of our lives. The intention is to honor their dedication and love; each woman with different strengths and weaknesses, talents and wisdom to share. I hear so often moms worrying about being good enough. The poetry of Eishet Chayil can be so difficult because it paints a picture of an incredible “perfect” woman. But the truth is that there is no single description of a “Woman of Valor.” Like my uncle taught me long ago, reciting Eishet Chayil is a moment of love, a moment of honor.

by Juliet I. Spitzer

Dedicated to Bracha Hollander Goldfein

A good woman, so hard to find

She is more precious than rubies

Her circle cast with friendship deep,

Full of love and graceful ease--

She is a woman of valor.

She opens her hands to the poor

She does not fear the other,

Extends her heart to those in need,

Encourages her friends to succeed--

She is a woman of valor.

Credit is hers for the fruit of her labors

Optimism is her might;

Surrenders to God, she does not despair

Knows how to wrap you in her care--

She is a woman of valor.

Trust in her with your secret fears

Know that she'll hold you gently;

When she speaks wisdom's spread around

Her depth of compassion, so profound--

She is a woman of valor.

She counts herself vital in the world

And revels in its wonders

In others she sees the Divine

Holds on dearly to her lifeline

She is a woman of valor.

Praise her, love her, hold her with your eyes

Be the safety that she needs to unlock all that she can be

And let her goodness rise.​​​​


Coming Up

Music and Meditation with Cantor Sarah

Thursday, 5/14, 8:30pm

Join Cantor Sarah for a few moments of healing music and meditation to help you breathe your way into the rest of the week. After a long day, take a few moments to listen to prayerful music and release some of the stress and anxiety of the day.

In Case You Missed It

Yesterday, Rabbi Noah shared a quick video for Lag Ba-Omer.


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