Shabbat clinks into place with the lacquered clarity of a bead sliding onto a necklace string. At this stage, the new Shabbat is clear and unmarked—a perfect pearl.

It takes its place along the length with nearly a year’s worth of Shabbats, each one engraved with the faces of all the people I saw that day. The workmanship is flawless.

Soon this bead too will grow heavy with the gilt edges of delicate designs, dozens of tiny faces etched upon its surface.

The necklace weighs down like a yoke upon my shoulders, almost choking me.

Is it heavier than usual, or do I simply notice the weight because I know that the jeweler will be coming soon, to examine each individual bead and determine the value of my year?


The luckiest person

“I had so many calls to make at work today—but just when I thought I would go crazy, Shabbat told me to go home and said he’d take care of the rest.”

“Really? I was at the end of a long checkout line with just one item, and Shabbat let me go ahead of him.”

“Shabbat gave me his seat on the subway when I was so tired that I thought I would fall over.”

“This Shabbat sounds like the same guy who cleared my sidewalk along with his own after the last snowstorm. What an amazing guy! I wonder if he’s seeing anyone.”

“When he opened the door for me yesterday, I noticed a wedding ring. Man, what I wouldn’t give for a guy like that!”

I glance down at my own right hand and hide a smile. He’s a catch, all right.



Where does the storm come from? What ends with lightning and thunder begins with the twin wings of a butterfly, magnesium blue, flickering and fluttering across the dreams of creation.

It might take a while for the sky to open, but from that first wing-beat the storm is inevitable. Pressure eases, clouds begin to gather, and a warm wind blows.

Evaporation, condensation, precipitation. The cycle began long before humans. Before monkeys, before birds or even plants. It is a part of our world, ecologically ordained. When the air changes though, it affects something primal within every living thing. We look to the sky. We wait for the rain.