It is always a great feeling of honor to greet and thank members of the
Israel Defense Forces. They are brave, well-trained, and they give
up three years (and possibly their lives) to defend Israel. And this
feeling doesn’t just go out to the soldiers in the front lines. It
extends to the intelligence officers supporting them. It extends to the cooks, truck
drivers, and even army photographers. Basically, every person wearing the IDF
uniform – all play an important role in making sure the IDF
functions in the best way possible. So it was truly a remarkable
experience to invite IDF soldiers over for a meal. Although, the biggest
surprises were just beginning – these soldiers are part of the IDF choir. That led to a stunning live impromptu song!
A Woman of Valor
Together, they sang the classic Jewish song Eshet Hayil, which means “a woman of valor.”
It is traditionally sung on Shabbat nights as a tribute to the Jewish woman and the spirituality of Shabbat.
However, it’s not just on Shabbat nights that we give tribute to women.
On Passover, the entire Jewish nation survived Egyptian slavery thanks to Jewish women.
On the holiday of Purim, we recall how God saved the Jews from Haman’s murderous scheme, after the
Jewish queen – Esther – stood up to Haman. And on the holiday of Hanuka, part of the evil Greek decree was that the
Greek leader would sleep with Jewish women.
Yet one brave woman, Yehudit, when forced to spend the night with him,killed him.
This helped inspire other Jews to defend themselves against the Greeks. And perhaps most important of
all – Jewish religious identity is determined by the mother of a person. So, Jewish women have the utmost
importance in Judaism. Our survival as a nation is only because they saved the entire people. And when we listen to
this song again, understanding its tribute, we are full of awe. This soulful tune does justice to showing the deep
gratitude deserved by women who have kept the Jewish people alive.