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Ushpizin


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‘Guests’, the seven celestials who visit the sukkah on the festival of Tabernacles. The seven Ushpizin are first mentioned in the Zohar (iii. 103b) in which it is stated that Abraham and five others, together with David, visit the sukkah. These seven correspond to the seven lower Sefirot. The portion of the Ushpizin is to be given to the poor who have to be invited to sit in the sukkah, otherwise the Ushpizin depart. The seven Ushpizin are: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David. As the custom developed, it became the practice to welcome Abraham (the counterpart of the Sefirah Hesed, ‘Loving-kindness’) on the first day of Tabernacles and the others with him; Isaac on the second day, and so on. The custom of inviting the Ushpizin is still observed by many pious Jews, especially by the Hasidim, with special emphasis on the injunction to care for the needy when rejoicing on the festival.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.


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