Friday, May 3, 2013
The Shabbat Song Project is an Israeli effort to spread the light of Shabbat, with popular singers performing traditional Shabbat melodies with new and eclectic arrangements. The arrangers and singers deserve a lot of credit for their creativity and use of a wide range of instruments and musical styles to present in a new light songs that we usually hear only inside a synagogue.
In March we started the series, and shared renditions of Yedid Nefesh and Lecha Dodi, both integral parts of the Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming Shabbat) service. Today we're posting their music video of Eishet Chayil (A Woman of Valor), a hymn which is not sung in the synagogue, but in many homes after singing Shalom Aleichem and before saying the Kiddush. Traditionally, a husband sings the song to his wife, extolling her virtues, and expressing thanks for all that his wife has done for him and their family.
Eishet Chayil is a twenty-two verse poem with which King Solomon concludes the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 31). The poem has an acrostic arrangement in which the verses begin with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in regular order. The poem describes the woman of valor as one who are is energetic, righteous, and capable.
The transliterated Hebrew text and English translation appear below the video.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
Eshet chayil mi yimtza v'rachok mip'ninim michrah
An accomplished woman, who can find? Her value is far beyond pearls.
Batach bah lev ba'lah v'shalal lo yechsar
Her husband's heart relies on her and he shall lack no fortune.
G'malathu tov v'lo ra kol y'mei chayeiha
She does him good and not evil, all the days of her life.
Darshah tzemer ufishtim vata'as b'chefetz kapeiha
She seeks wool and flax, and works with her hands willingly.
Haitah ko'oniyot socher mimerchak tavi lachmah
She is like the merchant ships, she brings her bread from afar.
Vatakom b'od lailah vatiten teref l'vetah v'chok l'na'aroteiha
She arises while it is still night, and gives food to her household and a portion to her maidservants.
Zam'mah sadeh vatikachehu mip'ri chapeiha nat'ah karem
She plans for a field, and buys it. With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Chagrah v'oz motneiha vat'ametz zro'oteiha
She girds her loins in strength, and makes her arms strong.
Ta'amah ki tov sachrah lo yichbeh balailah nerah
She knows that her merchandise is good. Her candle does not go out at night.
Yadeha shilchah vakishor v'chapeiha tamchu felech
She sets her hands to the distaff, and holds the spindle in her hands.
Kapah parsah le'ani v'yadeiha shil'chah la'evyon
She extends her hands to the poor, and reaches out her hand to the needy.
Lo tira l'vetah mishaleg ki chol betah lavush shanim
She fears not for her household because of snow, because her whole household is warmly dressed.
Marvadim astah lah shesh v'argaman l'vushah
She makes covers for herself, her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Noda bash'arim ba'lah b'shivto im ziknei aretz
Her husband is known at the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
Sadin astah vatimkor vachagor natnah lak'na'ani
She makes a cloak and sells it, and she delivers aprons to the merchant.
Oz v'hadar l'vushah vatischak l'yom acharon
Strength and honor are her clothing, she smiles at the future.
Piha patchah v'chochma v'torat chesed al l'shonah
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the lesson of kindness is on her tongue.
Tzofi'ah halichot betah v'lechem atzlut lo tochel
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Kamu vaneha vay'ash'ruha ba'lah vay'hal'lah
Her children rise and praise her, her husband lauds her.
Rabot banot asu chayil v'at alit al kulanah
Many women have done worthily, but you surpass them all.
Sheker hachen v'hevel hayofi ishah yir'at Hashem hi tit'halal
Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears God shall be praised.
T'nu lah mip'ri yadeiha vihal'luha vash'arim ma'aseha
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.