A Woman of Valor

From Proverbs 31. The Shabbat poem begins with verse 10.

1 The words of king Lemuel; the burden wherewith his mother corrected him. 2 What, my son? and what, O son of my womb? and what, O son of my vows? 3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine: nor for princes to say: ‘Where is strong drink?’5 Lest they drink, and forget that which is decreed, and pervert the justice due to any that is afflicted.6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto the bitter in soul;7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb, in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

10 A woman of valour who can find? Her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband? Full of certainty. He gains from his trust.
12 She is rewarded. No evil affects her all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax to craft with her hands.
14 She is a merchant-ship and brings her food from afar.
15 She rises early to prepare the day to nourish her household and pay her maidens.
16 She does and concludes business; from an empty field? A vineyard.
17 She strengthens herself as she strengthens her children.
18 She evaluates goods bought and sold; she is industrious.
19 She works hard at her craft and knows it well.
20 She supports the poor and reaches out to them.
21 The snows? Of no concern: her household are clothed warmly.
22 Herself? She is well-covered with fine cloth and joy.
23 Her husband? Known in the gates: he sits among the Land’s elders.
24 She  knows how to buy and sell. Merchants trust her.
25 Here core: strength and dignity. She enjoys what the future brings.
26 She is wise. She speaks only kindly.
27 She protects well her active household, for something is always happening.
28 Her children? They stand in her presence. They bless her, as does her husband:
29 ‘Many daughters do as you — and you exceed them all.’
30 Grace? Deceitful. Beauty? Vain. A woman with awe for G!d is praiseworthy.
31 Give her the fullmeasure of her succeses! Let her be known for her accomplishments!

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