Each Shabbat evening we turn toward the door during “Lecha Dodi” to greet the “Sabbath Bride.” This tradition harkens back to the hills of 16th-century Safed and reminds us that Judaism cherishes what we cannot see.
In our lives we put great store in tangible things, gotten and given, but Shabbat, like all of Judaism, ultimately treasures the intangible: time, love, God. You cannot put them on a wrist or a mantelpiece or drive them down the street, but they transcend “goods” and give life its purpose and its beauty.
We are increasingly tyrannized by “stuff.” Yet the pleasures of accumulation are brief and fleeting. The new toy ends up in the closet and the new electronic gadget loses its cachet as we accustom ourselves to its wonders. Still, there are things, non-material things, that never cease to sparkle. Our training as Jews is not to ask what do you make, what is the size of your wallet or your home or your account or your garage; but rather what is the size of your heart, the capacity of your dreams, the durability of your affections? This Shabbat, greet the bride you cannot see and seek the intangible Source of all.
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow his teachings at www.facebook.com/RabbiWolpe.