Shalom Aleichem: Coming and Leaving
“God will guard your leaving and your coming from now and forever” (Psalms 121:8). We usually associate a birth with someone coming into the world, and a death with someone leaving this
However; “God will guard your leaving”, this refers to when you leave for this world; “God will guard your coming” is when you enter the World of Truth (Yalkut Meam Loez).
A soul coming into this world means that it is leaving its source. A soul leaving this world means that it is coming home.
When we sing Shalom Aleichem, we first tell the angels: “Come”, then we say “Leave”. This is strange; it seems to be contradicting the order of the verse in Psalms where the leaving precedes the coming. Aren’t angels leaving their world and entering ours when they visit us in our homes?
When we prepare for Shabbat and transcend our physical world into a place beyond limitations; when we are able to do this through our free-choice, something angels can never do, then our home, at that moment, becomes the destination. We invite the angels to come and share a taste of the World of Truth we have accessed in this world before they take their leave.