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אֵשֶׁת חַיִל | Éshet Ḥayil (Proverbs 31:10-31) For an Accomplished Woman, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
אֵשֶׁת חַיִל מִי יִמְצָא וְרָחוֹק מִפְּנִינִים מִכְרָהּ
א An accomplished woman who can find;
beyond pearls is your worth.
בָּטַח בָּהּ לֵב בַּעְלָהּ וְשָׁלָל לא יֶחְסָר
ב By your integrity your husband’s heart is secure;
nothing is lacking where you are in charge.
גְּמָלַתְהוּ טוֹב וְלֹא רָע כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיה
ג Good are you to me, never vexing,
all your days (and especially our nights).
דָּרְשָׁה צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים וַתַּעַשֹ בְּחֵפֶץ כַּפֶּיהָ
ד Designing in wool and linen,
your hands do your bidding with alacrity.
הָיְתָה כָּאֳנִיּות סוחֵר מִמֶּרְחָק תָּבִיא לַחְמָהּ
ה High business acumen is yours,
like that of a world trader,
importing food from afar.
וַתָּקָם בְּעוד לַיְלָה וַתִּתֵּן טֶרֶף לְבֵיתָהּ וְחֹק לְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ
ו Well before dawn you rise
to apportion meals for our family
and tasks for your helpers.
זָמְמָה שָׂדֶה וַתִּקָּחֵהוּ מִפְּרִי כַפֶּיהָ נָטְעָה כָּרֶם
ז Zealously you assess your purchases before buying;
a vineyard you plant, the fruit of your hands
חָגְרָה בְעוֹז מָתְנֶיהָ וַתְּאַמֵּץ זְרוֹעוֹתֶיהָ
ח How mightily you gird your loins.
Your embraces are warm and strong.
טָעֲמָה כִּי־טוב סַחְרָהּ לא־יִכְבֶּה בַלַּיְלָה נֵרָהּ
ט Tastily, you offer your wares;
your light radiates undimmed through the night.
יָדֶיהָ שִׁלְּחָה בַכִּישׁור וְכַפֶּיהָ תָּמְכוּ פָלֶך
י Your hands are firm in what they weave together;
your palms support the spinning wheels.
כַּפָּהּ פָּרְשָׂה לֶעָנִי וְיָדֶיהָ שִׁלְּחָה לָאֶבְיוֹן
כ Kindly, you support the poor,
your hands at the service of the needy.
לֹא תִירָא לְבֵיתָהּ מִשָּׁלֶג כִּי כָל בֵּיתָהּ לָבוּשׁ שָׁנִים
ל Lily white clean is our home
and brightly colored its appointments.
מַרְבַדִּים עָשְֹתָה־לָּהּ שֵׁשׁ וְאַרְגָּמָן לְבוּשָׁהּ
מ Many textured are your weaves;
you wear silks and purples in elegance.
נוֹדָע בַּשְּׁעָרִים בַּעְלָהּ בְּשִׁבְתּוֹ עִם זִקְנֵי אָרֶץ
נ Named and known am I as your husband
when I sit in the councils of the elders.
סָדִין עָשְֹתָה וַתִּמְכֹּר וַחֲגור נָתְנָה לַכְּנַעֲנִי
ס Sheer are the garments you design;
your enterprise is valued by the people.
עֹז וְהָדָר לְבוּשָׁהּ וְתִשׂחַק לְיוֹם אַחֲרוֹן
ע On you dresses become beauty and strength,
and your future is happily assured.
פִּיהָ פָּתְחָה בְחָכְמָה וְתוֹרַת חֶסֶד עַל לְשׁוֹנָהּ
פ Pearls of wisdom come from your lips;
your speech is gentle and kind.
צוֹפִיָּה הֲלִיכוֹת בֵּיתָהּ וְלֶחֶם עַצְלוּת לֹא תֹאכֵל
צ Certain is the way you conduct our home,
and immaculate is our kitchen.
קָמוּ בָנֶיהָ וַיְאַשְּׁרוּהָ בַּעְלָהּ וַיְהַלְלָהּ
ק Courteous are your relatives and friends in their praise of you,
and your husband raves about you.
רַבּוֹת בָּנוֹת עָשׂוּ חָיִל וְאַתְּ עָלִית עַל כֻּלָּנָה
ר Ravishing and skillful are many good women,
but you are even more stunning than they.
שֶׁקֶר הַחֵן וְהֶבֶל הַיֹּפִי אִשָּׁה יִרְאַת ה’ הִיא תִתְהַלָּל
ש Shameless is mere charm and mere dazzling is vain.
How you are in God awareness, that is worth extolling!
תְּנוּ לָהּ מִפְּרִי יָדֶיָה וִיהַלְלוּהָ בַשְׁעָרִים מַעֲשֶׂיהָ
ת Thousandfold may you reap your rewards
for your fame deserves to be widely acknowledged.

We are grateful to Gabbai Seth Fishman for his transcription of Reb Zalman’s translation of Eyshet Hayil, originally posted at his website, Jewish Renewal Hasidus.






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