Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pass on an Important Jewish Value Through This Moroccan Sukkot Custom

Looking for a social action/mitzvah project for your class, or for you and your family? A Moroccan Sukkot custom proves that sometimes you don't have to look further than your own backyard to do a good deed.

Sukkot is a time for Ushpizin -- the Aramaic word for guests. A widespread tradition for Jews around the world -- be it in the United States, Eastern Europe or the Middle East -- is to virtually invite a different Biblical guest (e.g. Avraham, Moshe, King David, etc.) during the seven days of the holiday to "join" the meal. While this is a wonderful learning opportunity (and a great custom to follow as well), many Moroccan Jews push the envelope by inviting a different poor person into their Sukkah every night as a replacement for a Biblical celeb. Not only do they reach out to the needy, but they make him feel like a king, placing him/her at the head of the table and providing a lavish feast.

The way I see it, this is an example of Jewish living at its best. Together, a family celebrates. Together, a family reaches out. Together, a family feels pride in belonging to the tribe.

Chag Sameach!

Sukkah photo credit

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