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Eishet Chayil: Fearless



“She fears not snow for her household, for her entire household is clothed with scarlet wool.”  Snow refers to Dinim – judgments against us, as it says, “His garment was white as snow.” (Daniel 7:9) [When He sits in judgment.] Knesset Israel does not fear Din, even when “her entire household is clothed with scarlet wool,” as in, “If your sins are like scarlet they will become white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) Our sins are only garments, external, but the Penimiut – the inner core – stirs Rachamim – Divine Compassion. (Zot Zikaron page 113)

The Yetzer Harah – Evil Inclination – is called snow, because it chills the person’s soul, as in, “Asher korcha” – Amalek met you – Rashi reads, that they cooled you off. “She fears not,” because “her entire household is clothed with scarlet wool – shanim,” read it rather as Sheni’im – second (Midrash Tanchuma Re’ei 13), that which follows the first, as our Sages teach, (Avot 4:2) “The reward of a Mitzvah is another Mitzvah.” Each Mitzvah leads to more and we do not have to fear our passion for God being cooled by the Yetzer Harah. The Divine gift of the next Mitzvah means that God will help us grow. (Torat Emet Apta, Re’ei)

ToolsApplication:

  • Identify with your soul that cannot be damaged by sins.
  • Remember that sins are external garments that can easily be shed. We sing Eishet Chayil on Shabbat when we shed so much of the mundane. We should keep this in mind when changing into Shabbat clothes.
  • Celebrate, when singing Eishet Chayil, the power of Mitzvot to fire our passion for God.

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