Shabbos My Bride
The Slonimer Rebbe, of blessed memory,
On Friday night when we sit down to our
Shabbos meal the first thing we do is
welcome the Angels into our home.
“Shalom Aleichem! Malachei HaShareis.”
G-d sends the holiest guests to our home
when we make Shabbos. “Borchuni LeShalom”
We ask these holy Angels of peace to
bless us and our homes with peace. What
can be greater than to imagine that we
actually have G-d’s angels joining us at
our Shabbos table?
But then, after a few short moments we
say, “Tzeischem L’Shalom!” Farewell holy
Angels - it is almost as if the Angels
had just arrived and we are already
asking them to leave! Why don’t we beg
them to stay?
(Indeed there is an opinion that for
this reason we don’t say Tzeischem
L’Shalom. See Sefer Tosfos Shabbos 262 -
of course, we should stick with the
common custom of saying the entire
The Slonimer Rebbe answered: Think about
a bride and a groom that are wishing
farewell to their guests after a
beautiful, meaningful and festive
wedding. They feel so privileged that
their guests honored them and blessed
them. But the time has come for their
honored guests to go home; the bride and
groom wish to spend time together all
We feel so privileged that the Angels
have honored us at our Shabbos meal. We
welcome them, we honor them, and we seek
their blessing. But then we must say to
them “Holy Angels! We appreciate so much
that you came to our homes, we cherish
your presence and we treasure your
blessings -come again; but please
forgive us if we ask you to leave -
right now we want to be alone with G-d.”
Shabbos is so many things: a day of
rest, a day of faith, a family day, and
a day of celebrating the fact that G-d
created the world. Of course it is all
true. Yet Shabbos is so much more; it is
a day that we can be alone with G-d, or
in Kabbalistic language, Yichud Elyon.
I have often wondered why we begin the
Shabbos with “Lechu Neraneno L’Hashem...”
“Come! - let us sing to G-d ‘let us
greet Him with thanks”. Of course it
makes sense to greet the Shabbos, after
all we are reciting the Kabbalas Shabbos,
and we are welcoming the Shabbos. But
why are we greeting “Him” with
thanksgiving? Is G-d here more today
that He was yesterday?
The answer is that of course G-d is with
us and present all the time, but on
Shabbos we can actually enjoy and
experience the presence of His Shechina.
We can experience a new level of light,
of holiness, of spirituality and of
peace. As Shabbos comes in we offer a
special welcome to G-d in our lives.
What preparations must we make to merit
the presence of Hashem in our lives?
The Ari taught that whenever we reach
deep into ourselves to find and express
praise for G-d Hashem responds by
resting His Shechina upon us. That is
why we praise Hashem in pesukei d’zimra
before we pray to him in the morning,
why we say Ashrei before we pray to Him
in the afternoon and why we extol His
greatness as we begin the Shemonah Esrei.
This is why we begin the Shabbos by
“greeting Him with thanksgiving.”
In the Ten Commandments G-d asked us to
keep Shabbos. Life is busy, the world is
complicated - there is so much to do.
G-d said: Let’s have a time that we
spend together. Let us maintain our
relationship of gratitude and love, just
with Him. Good Shabbos!
Shiurim from Rabbi Yacov Haber, visit: