Eishet Chayil: LIghts of Shabbat
“Her lamp is not extinguished at night”. When Isaac brought Rivka into the tent, he realized that she was like his mother Sarah. Meaning, as long as Sarah lived, a lamp was alight in her tent from one Shabbat eve to the next […]. At her death, the light ceased. But when Rivka came, the light returned. (Bereishit Rabbah)
When one Shabbat connects to the following, when the experience we will have this Shabbat is built on top of the last one we had, when the light flows and expands from one week to the next, we are not simply observing the Shabbat. Shabbat becomes a state of being. It energizes and elevates the week; its light fills the days of “Chol” (which literally translates to vacuum). Such were the lamps of our mothers Sarah and Rivka.
How can we guarantee that their light does not get extinguished in the night of our exile?
The beginning part of the verse says: “She discerns- Ta’ama- that her enterprise is good”. Ta’ama means that she tastes.
When the woman of valor, in other words the people of Israel, can truly taste how good our ‘merchandise’ is, when we can fully appreciate the flavor of Torah, then we will kindle the flame, no matter how dark the night is.
And it will transport us from Shabbat to Shabbat, beyond the limits of time, lifting us and illuminating the path, from Sarah and Rivka’s tent to our very own homes.