Friday, December 1, 2017

Shabbat Around the Table -- Vayishlach and Shalom Aleichem

Jacob wrestles with one of God's messengers -- an angel -- during the night and gets a new name in the morning in this week's parshaVayishlach. His new name, Israel, means "you have struggled with God."

Angels are mentioned throughout the Torah. Abraham and Sarah welcome three angels to their tent earlier in Breishit (Book of Genesis), in one of my favorite stories. They drop everything they are doing to make sure their guests are welcome.

There is also a custom of welcoming angels to your dinner table on Friday nights. The angels are said to have accompanied you home in order to celebrate Shabbat with you. In many households, a song welcoming the angels in the first song sung around the Shabbat table.

Shalom Aleichem
Greetings to you, Angels!
May peace enter with you,
Bless me for peace,
Go on your way in peace
God is over us all.

Click here to learn the words and the tune. May your Shabbat be filled with peace!

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