Ayshet Chayil - Valor of a Woman
Ayshet Chayil - by Adam Rhine
Watercolor and Colored Pencil on Board

For more information about this painting, email the artist at adam@hebrewart.com

This design is inspired by the passage in Proverbs titled Ashet Chayil written by King Solomon and read every Sabbath by a husband to his wife. The first three lines of the Proverb found in the painting read:

“An accomplished woman, who can find? Far beyond pearls is her value. Her husband's heart relies on her, and he shall lack no fortune. She bestows goodness upon him, never evil, all the days of his life.”

More than simply “valor” is implied by these words of deep, mystical meaning. The most straightforward understanding is that they are a testament to a woman who possesses the attributes she needs to carry out any task with virtue. Ayshet Chayil is also a metaphor for the Shechinah, the feminine Presence of G-d, the “Sabbath Bride” who surrounds us on Shabbat.

To underscore the importance of the women of valor in our history, I have surrounded the composition with the names of the four Matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel), the prophetess Miriam, and Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David.

Text by Louise Temple from the book "Hebrew Illuminations"