|Shalom Aleichem: Shabbat Angels|
|Written by HaRav David Lapin|
“I am embarrassed to tell you, you’ll think I’m weird” a non-Jewish client said when I asked her where she had spent her weekend. After entreating her to tell me and assuring her that I was not the type to judge her, she confessed. She was at a conference to learn how to access ones angels and communicate with them. “That’s wonderful!” I said to her, “I hold an angels workshop at my home every Friday evening. We access our angels and we speak to them”. And with that I began to explain to her some of the meaning of the beautifully poetic song we sing when we come home from Shul every Friday night: Shalom Aleichem, “Peace to you serving angels…welcome…bless me in peace and depart in peace, Oh angels of peace”.
What are angels? They are moral forces in the world, both positive and negative. Just as there are physical forces in the world, like the force of gravity that pulls everything down and the force of sunlight that attracts plants upwards, so there are moral forces that weigh us down and that uplift us. The positive and negative forces of the world create a point of equilibrium in which humankind functions. We manage the moral tensions between these forces, and each time we make moral choices and choices of sanctity, we increase the power of the positive and diminish the power of the negative.
On Friday night, we are told in Kabbala , two angels follow us home from synagogue, one positive and one negative. We walk home in this state of equilibrium, poised between these positive and negative forces. They follow us into our houses and experience the radiant tranquility of a home laid out for Shabbat. The negative forces then immediately convert to positive, and together they infuse sanctity into our precious time-capsule called Shabbat. This sanctity not only elevates the divinity of this Shabbat, but prepares the platform for even higher levels on the Shabbat to follow a week later.
Next Friday night, as you walk, feel these forces along side you. Feel the tension of anticipation for what they might find at home. Experience the joy of the positive force and the conversion of the negative. Surrounded by this symphony of angelic celebration, approach your Shabbat in joy.