In the 16th Century, Jewish mystics created the ritual of ushpizin (Aramaic for honored guests), inviting seven different Biblical figures into the sukkah during the holiday. The traditional list includes Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David. Modern feminists have added Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Miriam, Avigail and Esther.
Think of seven people - historical, fictional, ancestral, or virtual (those you wish you could celebrate with this year). For each night of Sukkot, spend a few moments thinking about one of those people, imagining what you’d want to talk about and how their presence would make you feel. You can also use the nights of Sukkot to host a video chat in your sukkah, welcoming friends and family to bring their fullest selves.
Blessing for welcoming ancestral, fictional, historical, Biblical, familial or virtual ushpizin into your sukkah:
Blessed are you, Divine Gatherer, whose presence grows through abundant welcome.
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