|Shalom Aleichem: A Mission Oriented Life|
|Written by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink|
The Gemara tells us that on Friday Night Angels escort us from Shul to our home. Why angels? Why on Shabbos? In this week's Parsha (Vayishlach) Yaakov fought hand to hand combat with the Anonymous Angel across the Yobok River. As their battle came to a close Yaakov asked the Angel his name, the angel responded by "pleading the fifth." Rashi explains that angels have no set names; their name reflects their mission set by Hashem. What is the meaning behind this response? What is the Torah and Rashi teaching us? I believe the lesson is that we too have no names of our own; we are just servants of Hashem and also do what He commands of us. We are only a manifestation of His will and must use our tools we are given for His will. We don't really have our own talents or strengths, we are only given tools on a loan, to use in our ever-present mission and quest to sanctify Hashem's name. That is what Yaakov learned from the angel and thus responded to Eisav's subsequent inquiry about his possessions acknowledging Hashem and His gifts to him.
Each week we are reminded of the mission oriented nature of our lives as we are escorted home by the angels. We and angles have no name other than that which our mission requires from us. Shabbos gives us a chance to refocus and reenergize our efforts towards accomplishing that mission. The greatest gift of Shabbos is the reflection of our week and the pleasure of enjoying our accomplishments. Shalom Aleichem welcomes the angels their message into our home and into our lives.
Rabbi Eliyahu Fink is the Rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center at the Shul on the Beach in Venice California. http://finkorswim.com.