Saturday, November 28, 2009

Visit from the Shekhinah

Yesterday I felt like I was coming down with a cold, and I spent the whole day in bed napping with the cats and watching the "Deadliest Catch" marathon on TV. However, it was Friday, I missed Shabbat last week because I was in Hawaii, and I'm going to miss Shabbat next week due to our company retreat. Three weeks without Shabbat is three weeks too many as far as I'm concerned, so I hauled myself out of bed and went to the synagogue.

When services started the sanctuary doors were closed, so during the song/prayer "Lecha Dodi" I walked around the back of the sanctuary to the outside of the main sanctuary doors. "Lecha Dodi" is about welcoming Shabbat. Traditionally, during the last verse, everyone bows toward the doors of the sanctuary, thereby bowing to Shabbat as she enters. I'd say Shabbat can make it through the doors whether or not they're open, but it's more dramatic if the doors are open when the last verse starts, and it certainly seems more welcoming to Shabbat to open the doors for her.

So there I was, in the foyer, listening to the singing through the closed doors, waiting for the last verse, and I started thinking, "Hmmm, if I'm standing out here waiting to let Shabbat in through the doors at the last verse, then Shabbat must be out here in the foyer with me now." So, I looked up over my shoulder, and felt the Shekhinah, God's presence, hovering over me.

When the congregation reached the last verse and sang, "Come in, bride," I opened the doors, and the Shekhinah swept past me into the sanctuary.

I know God is with us all the time. I know I can feel God wherever I am. But there is something special about the Shekhinah on Shabbat that I truly miss whenever I'm away.

No comments:

Post a Comment