A Woman of Valor, called Eshet Chayil in Hebrew, is a hymn which is customarily recited on Friday evenings, after returning from synagogue and singing "Shalom Aleichem" and before sitting down to the Shabbat evening meal.
Eshet 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.
According to Aggadic Midrashim (interpretation of the non-legal portions of the Hebrew Bible), the poem was originally composed by Abraham as a eulogy for his wife Sarah.
According to Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah, the poem is a reference to the Shabbat Queen, the spiritual soul-mate of the Jewish nation.
According to commentators, the poem is allegorical. A Woman of Valor has been interpreted as a reference to the Shechinah (Divine presence), the Sha...