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I have seen a tradition that has husbands using Proverbs 31 ("Aishet Chayel") to bless their wives, with children rising up and going to the mother and kissing her. This text even has reference to "her children" rising up to bless her.

If a woman has no children is it appropriate for her husband to use this traditional Aishet Chayel blessing on Shabbat?

  • I think the question would be improved if you could point out those passages that may be inappropriate for a woman who has no children. – eramm Sep 30 '14 at 11:59
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    Also can you provide a source that eishes chayil is a blessing as you state ? – eramm Sep 30 '14 at 12:01
  • @eramm Consider checking suggested edits for this post. :) – Scimonster Sep 30 '14 at 12:34
  • I always give my wife a wink by the lines about getting up while its still night and having all the kids dressed in red etc. Much of the ideas are not applicable nowadays but they are not hurtfull. If mentioning children to a woman who has none is a sore point for her than there would probably be an onaas dvarim issue. – user6591 Sep 30 '14 at 12:52
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Just a copy/paste from a nice article on the subject found HERE

Avigdor Shinan introduces “Eishet Chayil” in the Siddur that he edited and annotated, as follows: This biblical passage has been included in the Siddur since the 17th century (when Kabbalists established other portions of the Friday night liturgy, such as poem Lecha Dodi—jb). Its recitation on Friday evening is interpreted alternately as referring to Shabbat, the Tora, or the Divine Presence, and it describes the Sephira of Malchut according to the Kabbalists. Nevertheless, many today understand it as a song of praise and thanks that the members of the family sing in honor of the matriarch of the home for all that she does during the week in general, and what she has done getting ready for Shabbat in particular.

Assuming that singing Ashet Chayil does not trigger any unpleasant feelings for his wife, then there is no problem singing it as the passage is a allegory (indeed the source for Ashet Chayil is in the book of Mishlei) as mentioned above and verses like "her children rise up" can be interpreted on a deeper level.

I encourage you to read the whole article to get a deeper understanding of Ashet Chayil

  • Toda Raba! I am looking forward to reading the article. – cassia bat avraham Sep 30 '14 at 16:57

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