From New Jersey to Gaza: A Woman of Valor


A few weeks ago, I spent Shabbat with the Israeli community in Tenafly, New Jersey. A few minutes before Shabbat began, arriving straight from important meetings in Washington, D.C., Ron and Orly Gilboa, parents of hostage Daniella Gilboa, joined us.

I have been praying for Daniella bat Orly – and suddenly, Orly was here. Hundreds of people came together for the Friday night meal this past Shabbat and, a moment before kiddush, Rabbi Yitzchak Gershovitz, the local Chabad shaliach, asked everyone to dedicate the singing of Eishet Chayil, “Woman of Valor,” to Daniella, while praying for her speedy return.

Eishet Chayil is a hymn from the book of Mishlei that is sung every Shabbat on Friday night. Each verse begins with another letter of the alef-bet. The words are generally dedicated to the woman of the house, to a mother or to a wife, or to all the women of our nation. And now we were being asked to dedicate these words to Daniella. We were sending them from New Jersey to Gaza.

“A woman of valor, who can find?… 

Her lamp is not extinguished at night…

Strength and splendor are her garments…

Give her the fruit of her hands…”

So began a most meaningful and inspirational Shabbat. When I asked Orly what sustains her, what gives her strength, she said it is precisely what was happening that Shabbat in New Jersey and elsewhere – gestures of solidarity and mutual responsibility from throughout the world, prayers and lovingkindness on the part of people she never met before but to whom she is now connected in the depths of her soul.

May we all hear good news.

  • Translated by Yehoshua Siskin


Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Yedidya and their five children, and serves as World Mizrachi’s Scholar-in-Residence. She is a primetime anchor on Channel 2 News, has a column in Israel’s largest newspaper, Yediot Acharanot and a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio).

© 2024 World Mizrachi

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