Join me on Sunday in Great Barrington for poems and conversation
A poem in the Jewish Women's Literary Annual

Meditation to prepare ourselves for Shabbat

The Shabbat bride is on her way and she'll be here at sundown tonight!

In the understanding of our sages and mystics, Shabbat isn't just a day off from work. It's a day of cosmic alignment, a day when creation is irrigated with blessing. And we have a role to play in that process.

Think back on the week now ending. Start with last Sunday: what did you do on Sunday? What was sweet, and what was bitter? Where did you live up to your hopes, and where did you miss the mark?

And then let it go.

Remember Monday. What was good, what was difficult, where did you shine, where did you fail? And then let it go.

Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Today. Turn the days over in your mind like pieces of sea glass in your hand, holding each one up to the light to see where it gleams and where it's flawed. And then let them all go.

Do you want to thank someone for a kindness this week? Reach out and do so. Do you need to apologize to someone for a place where you erred this week? Reach out and do so.

Seal the week's sweet memories in your heart; release the week's bitter memories from your consciousness.

In this way, you clear out the channels of your heart, mind, and soul. You're washing out the pipes, as it were, ensuring that nothing is blocking the flow of blessing from coming into your life -- and, through you, into the world.

Our tradition teaches that we each receive an extra soul, or an extra portion of soul-awareness, on Shabbat. When you light candles tonight, take a deep breath and feel the expansiveness of that second soul settling in. And then open your heart and let blessing, joy, and kindness flow from God into you, and from you into everyone you meet.