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Friday, March 18, 2016: Welcoming angels

Shabbat Shalom. In Jewish tradition, on Friday night we sing the song “Shalom Aleichem” to welcome the Shabbat angels with words that mean “Peace unto you . . .  angels of the Most High.”

For me, Shabbat is a time to reflect on what I’m grateful for. I want to honour an anonymous angel who quickly responded to my appeal on Wednesday to help Miriam Nankwanga (photo) with a donation so she can switch to a school where she can boost her science results, and go on to become a teacher. Miriam is one of the five Abayudaya Jewish orphans in Uganda – where I lived 2009-2020 – supported through my chant and Shabbat dinner events. Now 18, Miriam lost both her parents to AIDS in 2007.

“Don’t we all know some angels?” Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman asks in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. “The preschool teacher who carries our toddler around all morning when he’s having trouble separating from us. The pediatrician who stays late when our child is sick, or who calls after hours to see how she’s doing. The coach who sees our tween not just as a player, but as a unique and special individual. And when we’re exhausted after a long day, but take the time to eat dinner with our children, to look them in the eye and ask about their day, to snuggle with their favorite book and a blanket instead of retreating to Facebook and Instagram . . . well, just maybe we are angels as well.”

Soon I’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise about $700 for bicycles for the other four of our students who walk many miles to and from school. I hope more angels will find their wings.