In Eishes Chayil, the woman’s value is described as “more precious than pearls”. Why pearls, rather than gold, diamonds or some other gem? What is so special about pearls?
A pearl is made when a parasite invades the shell of the oyster. This tiny parasite irritates the oyster and it produces a soft film to cover the invader. The oyster continues to smooth over the irritation again and again and over time a pearl is formed. In every person’s life there are irritations. Things that bother us, which we wish were not part of our lives
. Often we tell ourselves that if only this or that wasn’t in my life then everything would be perfect. But in fact, it is the very irritations themselves that provide the opportunity for perfection of ourselves. What is a woman’s worth? When she takes the parasites in her life, the annoyances and the difficulties, and turns them into pearls.