Friday, April 29, 2011

You didn't crack an invite to Will & Kate's wedding?

I hear you didn't make the cut for today's Royal Wedding. 

That's a shame, but you can take comfort in the fact that neither were Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or the Obamas (Swaziland's King Mswati is on the guest-list, mind you). Besides, you're welcome to join a royal wedding later if you'd like. (No, I'm not referring to our local "royal" wedding celebrations of Dudu Zuma either.)

London this morning will be aglow with all the glamour and extravagance befitting a royal affair. Weather permitting, the couple will travel from the service to Buckingham Palace in the historic 1902 State Landau carriage built for King Edward VII's coronation. Over 1000 military personnel, in ceremonial uniform, will line the streets en route and an honour guard will greet the couple on arrival. Various army, navy and RAF bands will play as the couple passes them. A fly-past of World War II fighter planes and modern jets will swoop overhead once the new couple has arrived.

William and Kate's nuptials promise to be a riveting spectacle, whether you watch it from the inside, from the London streets or on your TV at home.

But, as I said, if you're not on the VIP list, don't fret. You're invited to a royal wedding too. Come join us this evening. There'll be less paparazzi and glitz, but a more spectacular procession and a more royal couple.

Shabbos (as you can see from the famous "Lecha Dodi") is called both a bride and a queen or a royal bride. Soon after Creation, G-d commented that each day has a partner (Sunday-Friday, Monday-Thursday, Tuesday-Wednesday) except for Shabbos. His intention was to pair us with Shabbos, transforming both of us into royalty for 24 hours a week.

Kabbalah teaches that, as Shabbos enters, processions of angels rise to the Heavens and return here to Earth. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev described a "great parade" that gets underway on High as we say the Friday night prayers. According to the Zohar, the spiritual excitement of Shabbos is so intense that all negative energy is suspended. Likewise, the Talmud notes the "Gehinnom" shuts down and that blessings flow for the whole week ahead.

William and Kate are expected to have 2 billion TV viewers and 400 million Internet users watch their wedding. They'll have their day of glory today- and likely in the media for a good few days to come. But, considering that a single angel comprises the energy and complexity of 1/3 of our entire universe, and that we have two of them accompany us home from Shul on Friday night (not to mention the parading angels in Shul), it makes sense to capitalise on the amazing wedding procession we have access to every single week.

Yes, it has gone cold. Yes, it's dark now by the time Shul ends. Yes, we work long-draining days during the week and flop down exhausted on Friday evening. Yes, we plan to be at Shul on Shabbos morning. But, G-d puts on a royal wedding for us every Friday night, so surely we should be there! 

Can you imagine what would happen if Kate didn't show up this morning?

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