Episode 9 – Sali Schindler: A woman whose strength surpassed them all

by Miriam Oles and Rabbi Judy Schindler

One of the final lines of Proverbs 31 is engraved on Sali Schindler’s headstone. It states, “At alit al kulanah – you exceed them all.” Sali was far from the archetypal eshet chayil – women of strength, but she most definitely was a woman of strength. Chayil can also mean soldier. Our grandmother, whom we called Omi, had that soldier type of strength that would not yield to an earthly force. Her strength and valor were manifested in ways as she stood up to enemies of the Jews to save her family.

From her early beginnings of eloping to follow her heart, to her midlife stance of staying in Munich to ensure her family could get the funds out of the business in order to thrive as refugees in a foreign land, to her drive to take one last risk in visiting the Belzer Rebbe in Poland to keep her promise to her father-in-law, Avraham Yitzchak, Sali was a women of strength that truly exceeded them all.

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