All around him was sadness, troubles, pain. His father was ready to kill him before Gd intervened. His mother was now dead. Yet into this sea of discontent comes a woman, hidden behind a veil, a bride. And he took her and loved her and found comfort in her.
All around us are sadness, troubles, pain. We work hard to support ourselves. sometimes we work too hard and too long to try and forget the troubles in our lives.. We have bad days-and we cause bad days for others. People try to hurt us for unfathomable reasons. We have our differences with our parents. We lose loved ones.
Yet into our sea of discontent there too comes a veiled bride. Every week. And we too should take her and espouse her, love her and find comfort in her. Come, beloved, come great the bride-let us welcome Shabbat.
After losing Sarah, Abraham took another wife. We, too, will lose our weekly Shabbat bride as the flame of the twisted candle is extinguished. Yet, as our ancestor Abraham did, we too will be able to take another bride. Each week we marry anew.
And we should praise Gd that we are honored so with this weekly blessing.
We should watch, too, for the nameless servants of our Gd who, as did the nameless servant of Abraham, go out to seek our bride for us. They are out there, and yet we forget them. They are those in our lives who make sure that the Shabbat bride finds her way to us each week. And we should thank them. For perhaps, without their help, our bride might not find her way to our homes. Or we might be too busy, to angry, to sad or hurt to see the bride standing there, waiting for us to wed her each week.
There is risk in any marriage. Even wedding the Shabbat bride brings with it its share of risk. The risk that we will lose her before there are again three stars in the sky. The risk that we will want her so much we would fear to ever part with her-this depriving ourselves the chance to live and be part of this world, and continue to be Gd's partner in the continuing creation.
But what relationship is without risk? This gift that Gd offers us each week-to wed the bride of Shabbat-we should not fear accepting it.
[To those among you unhappy with the male-dominated imagery, think of Shabbat as a groom if you prefer, or lover, or whatever. Just don't pass up the opportunity to share in the relationship that Gd offers you each week.]
I go now to greet both my own bride, and the bride of Shabbat.
To each and every one of you and your loved ones a
© 2000 by Adrian A. Durlester
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