Drew and mama make motzi. Photo by David Curiel.
Every Friday, I post on my synagogue's Facebook page, "Shabbat is coming! Get ready for that extra soul to descend and enliven you..." I love the idea that we each receive a second portion of soul, a neshamah yeteirah, on Shabbat. An extra spiritual spaciousness. An opportunity to breathe deeply and open up our heartspace.
There's an old story which says that every Friday, an angel looks in through the window at each household. If that angel sees familial strife, dirty dishes, tension and frustration, the angel sorrowfully says, "...may next week be just like this one."
But if the angel sees a set table, a family relating to each other with loving harmony, candles and challah and grape juice or wine, the angel joyfully says, "...may next week be just like this one!"
As we move toward Shabbat today, may each of us find the resources we need (both practical and spiritual) to reach a state of readiness -- so that when that angel peers in at us, it is able to offer the blessing that our Shabbat joy should continue, now and always.