The Good Wife: Is Giselle Bundchen An Aishes Chayil?
02/09/2012 - 12:08

"A woman of valor, who can find her?"

Many Jews ask that question every Friday night with the recitation of the song "Aishet Chayil" at the Shabbat table.

One answer to the question: Tom Brady.

The Patriots quarterback may not have walked away with an MVP trophy or a Super Bowl ring after last Sunday's showdown in Indianapolis, but he did get a reminder that he is married to his No. 1 fan.

Brazilian model Giselle Bundchen made international headlines for her candid post-game analysis. "My husband cannot [bleep] throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time," he said.

Plenty of sportscasters get huge paychecks for saying the equally obvious, but Bundchen's reaction was taken as a slap at her husband's teammates. 

"I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times," Bundchen said, adding insult to injury for the receivers who missed Brady's passes, including the Hail Mary throw in the final quarter that could have saved the Pats from defeat.

Her spirited defense of Brady reminded me of the Aishet Chayil song. Written in another era, it generally extols the wife for none of her own virtues, but mostly for taking care of the household while her  husband "sits among the elders of the land."

But here's one of the exceptions: "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the lesson of kindness is on her tongue."

Whether Giselle lived up to that standard depends on how you look at it. From a strictly analytical point of view her wisdom is dead-on. If wide receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch and tight end Aaron Hernandez did their jobs flawlessly she wouldn't have been in a position of having to defend her husband.

Was kindness on her tongue? Probably not. But look at the circumstances. Almost completely lost from the controversy is any criticism of the obnoxious Giants fans who heckled Bundchen as she left Lucas Oil Field by screaming "Eli [Manning] owns your husband." Apparently these weasels never learned about good sportsmanship before they were kicked out of Little League.

Many public figures I can think of may have responded with far less wisdom and a greater lack of kindness on their tongues. Short of taking the high road and saying nothing ("stay cute and shut up," in the sexist words of Giants running back Brandon Jacobs)  Giselle showed more class than a lot of us would when confronted with a public dissing of our significant other.

In an age of celebrity marriages that expire faster than parking meters and spoil quicker than milk, and public figures who treat their spouses as campaign props (or worse) this display of love and loyalty should be celebrated.

So, yasherkoach, Giselle. As the proverb concludes, "Many women have done worthily, but you surpass them all."




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When emotions are high, especially when blaming is involved, people can blurt out the wrong things. When you have a bunch of microphones in front of your face, it certainly intensifies things.


I think we are all perhaps expecting to much of Mrs. Brady. After all, it was the end of an emotional game, the fans were taunting her, and she came out with an extemporaneous comment that was offensive to Brady's teammates.

At the very least, she was being protective of her husband. She is obviously very devoted to him.

Now, as for her denigrating his colleagues. Not a good thing to do, but it certainly wasn't premeditated. It seem to be a response centered in the heat of the moment and borne of frustration.

Alan Loren

Chief Editor
My Word Wizard

Giselle came off as having no class whatsoever. You can't blame her mouth and her comments on the Giant fans as this article does - we are all responsible for our own actions regardless of the source or what we are reacting to. Quite frankly, suggesting Giselle is an aishes chayil is an insult to those that truly are and this article misses the mark entirely. What Giselle does manage to teach us from her rant is that community and team go out the window when you lose. The Pats never would have been in the Super Bowl without Welker, but because he dropped a pass at the end of the game - a so-so pass that turned him awkwardly - we can scapegoat him. We don't need to show appreciation for all he did before - it's only the now that counts. Adam, if Giselle is an aishes chayil, I invite you to my home - where we'll redefine the words for you.

The Proverb in fact praises her virtues from A to Z, or rather Aleph to Taf: she is trustworthy (Line 2, corresponding to letter "beit"), works cheerfully (4), is proactive (5), a good businesswoman (6 & 9), physically strong (8), generous (11), dignified and optimistic (16), speaks with wisdom and kindness (17), is industrious (18), and is G-d fearing (21).

Its very antiquity is why she is appreciated for her inner qualities. And it embeds a hint across the ages to Giselle, the modern heroine: "beauty is vain (21)."

Summary is my own.
Translation courtesy Aish HaTorah:

no offense. AMEN!!!! finally, somone with common sense! besides she didn't call them out, the media did. like the cowards and hypocrites they are, they are hiding behind her, while they trash her, and the whole team including her husband!.