Kiddush, crown of light

     There is something very beautiful Friday night that we miss if we are not looking.  The table is set.
The family and guests are gathered around.  But just before making kiddush, one can see, in the mirror surface of the wine that fills the kiddush cup to the brim, the reflected lights of the Shabbos
candles. The bright flames burn, shimmer and dance on the surface of the dark wine.
     And as we gaze at these reflected lights glowing in the darkness of the wine, we are drawn into
meditation.  We see the brilliant lights of the heavens spread, sparkling over the night sky.  The home of the lights is above, and they shed their sparks here and there to illumine the dark corners of the world.  And we think of our dark corner, and how we have caught these sparks here at our table, how they bring light, warmth and gladness, beauty and blessing, and how they long to return to their source above, stretching and burning upward, filling our table with the glow of their yearning.
     The dark wine beneath the reflection of light is another matter.  Born of the earth and bound by gravity, it rises to the top of the cup and spills down the sides into the dish below.  Wine comes from below and returns there.  But here, now, it rises to hold the light.  And the light exalts the wine, is the golden crown of glory it wears. 
     At this moment of welcoming Shabbos, when the light of heaven shines in the fire of earth, we rise
and we raise this glittering cup of wine.  The light from above destined to return there, and the wine from below destined to return there meet here, come together in holiness at our table and embrace in our eye.


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