What Are Ushpizin? 

Ushpizin, the Aramaic word for “guests,” traditionally refers to the Biblical forefathers who visit us in spirit each evening over the seven-day period of Sukkot. Each patriarch enters the sukkah—the leafy, three-walled structure we eat our meals in during this period—and dines with us as a guest, and each is associated with a different aspect of Divine energy. 

The traditional order of patriarch ushpizin is: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David.Over the past few decades, many Jews have begun adding some of the Biblical matriarchs to the Ushpizin guest list, as it remains important for us to connect with a broadly-gendered assemblage of our ancestors. And, we don’t have to stick to Biblical ancestors alone. Who are our broader cultural ancestors, those who no longer walk among us but who have had an impact on our lives?

You can also use the nights of Sukkot to host friends and family in your sukkah, welcoming your loved ones to bring their fullest selves.

Booklet Section: Introduction