On Erev Shabbat, the Talmud teaches us that we receive an extra soul. I never thought to ask, “Where does this soul come from?” Rashi explains that with an extra soul comes an expanded heart. That perhaps, within ourselves is always the possibility of this hidden soul. With reflection, prayer and introspection, Shabbat is the time in which our heart breaks open and the extra soul is revealed.
But there is another way to think about this Shabbas gift. Perhaps, just perhaps, the extra soul is a visit from a loved one that has traveled from beyond this world. On Erev Shabbat, could it be that the brokenness of the week calls out to the loved one we need most. Someone that used to whisper words of confidence, comfort and love. Someone that would embrace us when we felt let down. Someone that would remind us…everything will be ok. And the strength of that extra soul gently guides us, buoying our spirit through the chaos of the week until we reach Shabbat, once again.
Whose neshama do you need within you this Erev Shabbat? Whether it was a week of celebration or a week of hardship, let the memory of a loved one fill you up. Then, our hearts will certainly expand…with the ease of knowing in this liminal time, we are not alone.