The universe is tied to a universal call of return
Species of all kinds, from microorganisms to whales
follow that call.

Salmon return to the river where they were hatched,
Geese fly South and calibrate their
internal compass during rest stops.

Shabbat is the Jew’s Return Home,
a buffer against senseless acts of violence
a time to pause and recalibrate.

The heart has no greater yearning,
the soul no greater love,
than this homecoming.

Musicians move their bow across violins
the same focus Jews place candles next to each another
and lay challot under their cover.

Each Jew orchestrates
these moments,
to create ritual music

And so, here we are, having arrived
from the four corners of this city
to share a meal and partake in conversation.

Each of us, once a stranger to himself
now belongs to a family of souls
Yearning to return Home.

Welcome everyone to Avraham’s table
As each of us dares to knock
on the portal of time,

Oh guardian of Time,
Let us in!

— © Abraham Menashe