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Eishet Chayil: Finding

“In the West they used to ask a man who married a wife thus: Maza or Moze? ‘Maza’, for it is written: Whoso findeth [maza] a wife findeth a great good. ‘Moze’, for it is written: And I find [moze] more bitter than death the woman.”(Berachot 8a)

One who has found, as looks only to his wife, has found good. One who is finding, meaning always looking and wondering whether he married well, will find his life more bitter than death.

This is the way we can read the opening of the Eishet Chayil: NOT “ A woman of valor who can find?” meaning who can find such a great woman? But, as “The woman of valor! – she is there – who can find – which husband is looking carefully enough to find what is precious about his wife?

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