A Woman of Valor

Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D.

In the Book of Proverbs we are taught the beauty and value of our counterparts in the continuing process of creation – women.

“A woman of valor, who can find? She is more precious than fine pearls. Her husband trusts in her, and so he  lacks nothing. She does him good, never harm, all the days of her life. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband sings her praises. She speaks with wisdom; the law of kindness is on her lips.”

So central to life’s values, people of faith have always recognized that women were not inferior but rather equals in completing the task given us by God. Scriptures are filled with the exploits of women who have been in the forefront of faith-based activities which included social justice and conscience.

But perhaps the most significant role is that of mother. She played with us when we were young, nurtured us during times of trouble – a calmer of fears – compassionate, understanding with unconditional love.

We saw her grow old and become bent – but her children, well, they were tall and strong and had courage beyond their beliefs. Her lips were filled with words of encouragement.

It is painful to remember our mothers who are no more because we knew as the journey concluded that she realized the end was better than the beginning because her children walked with dignity and pride because of her love and caring.

Sometimes we wish that if we could only see her once more or touch her brow with a kiss we would feel more comforted and safe – BUT, we do have that moment – it is called memory and more than that she remains a living presence.

The book of Proverbs said it best and all we can do is echo those hallowed words as we pay tribute to the past and savor the time we still have with our mothers here and now.

“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she faces the future cheerfully. She reaches out to those in need, and extends her hands to the poor. Many daughters have valiantly, but she excels them all.”

Remember – you can find all this in her smile, her laughter, in every tear drop we shed as we watch our children grow and their children as well. She was our first love, our best friend – and we can never be separated from her – not even in death.

Happy Mother’s Day!