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Voice Tone – Letter Pay (Serach) – Part 2 – The Aishes Chayil Style

Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
July 8th, 2011
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This entry is part 40 of 40 in the series The Aishes Chayil Style

פיה פתחה בחכמה ותורת־חסד על־לשונה.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom; the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

The Midrash (Mishlei 31) states this verse refers to Serach Bas Asher. When Yoav was chasing down the murderer Sheva Ben Bichri he trapped him in the Jewish city of Aveila (see Shmuel II 20) and was about to destroy the entire area in order to get to Sheva.  Serach negotiated using her wisdom between her townsfolk and Yoav the general and was able to find a solution that made everyone happy and prevented a civil war.

Serach is famous for being the one that broke the news to Yaakov that Yosef was still alive after 22 years. Chazal state that Yaakov was so happy at that time that he blessed her that she should live forever and she was one of ten people that entered Gan Eden alive. What is this all about?

The catch-phrase is, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Breaking the news to Yaakov was a most daunting task as the brothers were not sure how to tell him without causing him to have a heart-attack from the excitement. Serach took on the task and using her harp and music she slowly developed the lyrics to express an idea about Yosef. Progressively and diligently she got into Yaakov’s subconscious mind the thought the Yosef was still alive. She slowly eased him into the idea until she started expressing it more and more clearly. By the time that she finished her song, Yaakov was calm and had already heard the most amazing news. He recognized her thought, sensitivity and care and blessed her with a long life.

Serach held the secret to success in life, how to communicate softly and considerately with others. She was the paradigm of sweet expression and care. She stood for the essence of a Jewish woman, someone who could teach and instill Torah in the hearts of the highly impressionable children. She embodied the concept of “Chanoch L’naar Al Pi Darko, educate the child according to his own personality.”

This is the same trait that the Aishes Chayil has, she knows how and when to say things and in what manner they will be most heard.


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