The Ushpizin (Hebrew:אושפיזין) are the seven hidden hosts who, according to Jewish tradition , visit us in the Sukkah on each of the seven nights and days of Sukkot.
It is believed that each day a special guest is visiting the Sukkah, along with the other 6 guests. These special guests are the ” “Seven Shepherds of Israel”: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David.
The term Ushpizin (guests) is taken from Aramaic . We still use the Aramaic term because the source of information about these mystical guests is from the Zohar.
Guests are an important part of the Jewish tradition. It is considered to be a special Mitzvah especially on Shabbat and even more on the Jewish festivals. According to the Talmud “it is fitting that all Jews should sit in one Sukkah”.
In Deuteronomy 16:14 we read:
“וְשָׂמַחְתָּ, בְּחַגֶּךָ: אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ, וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתֶךָ, וְהַלֵּוִי וְהַגֵּר וְהַיָּתוֹם וְהָאַלְמָנָה, אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ
” And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.”
Our Sages say that the only true joy is shared joy.The Rambam states that when one eats and drinks, one must also feed the stranger, the orphan, the widow and other unfortunate paupers.As each special guest visits our Sukkah, he empowers us with the particular quality that defines him.