28 December 2010

A Hearty Appetite

from Proverbs Thirty-One

"The burden wherewith his mother corrected him."  Here, to end the book, Mishley writes of the way in which the mother warns the son against the illusion getting lost in women and booze.

Man is weak!  Lay your burden down!

It's not easy to do to.  "Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more."  The opposite means something rather interesting:  The un-numbed brain faces its misery and man learns to correct himself.  He doesn't have his mother to tie his shoes for him forever, you know.

Once corrected, Mishley charges him with living the ethical life.

"Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of the defenseless."  That is speech worthy of hearing.

"Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy."  If you're going to talk, put it good use, people!

It's in this context that Mishley concludes this beautifully moving work of Proverbs with the final twenty-two stanzas (one for each letter of the Alef-Bet) dedicated to his mother, the "Woman of Valor, whose price is far above rubies."

In this old world, with our faces increasingly turned to the mirrors of the Shining Screens of Existence, we would do well to consider these words:

"Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Eternal, she shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates."

Solomon had a hearty appetite; but he seemed to love his mother very much.

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