The Holy Guests of Sukkot

According to the Zohar, we are visited by spiritual guests during the festival of Sukkot, known as Ushpizin. The Ushpizin guests number seven and they are; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and King David. The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that there are also seven Hassidic Ushpizin that accompany these seven spiritual guests and they are; the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezritch, the Alter Rebbe, the Mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe Maharash and the Rebbe Rashab. Although all of these guests visit our Sukkot on each day of the festival, each day is known to have it’s own special guests.

The first day of Sukkot= Abraham and the Baal Shem Tov

Common denominators between these two guests are that they both initiated a new stage in the relationship between man and G-d. Abraham was the founder of the Jewish religion and the Baal Shem Tov the founder of the Hassidic movement. They also both travelled from place to place in order to reveal G-d’s Presence in the world.

The second day of Sukkot= Isaac and the Maggid of Mezritch

The shared characteristic of these two guests is found in the verse, “Do not abandon your place,” in Ecclesiastes 10:4. Isaac, as opposed to the other patriarchs, never left the land of Israel. Similarly, the Maggid of Mezritch never left Mezritch after he became the leader of the Hassidic movement which was in contrast to other Rebbes who would journey from place to place.

The third day of Sukkot= Jacob and the Alter Rebbe

Both of these guests are associated with Torah study. Jacob is famous for being described as “a simple man dwelling in tents,” which was understood to allude to him learning in the leading houses of study of that time. The Alter Rebbe’s connection to Torah is alluded to in his first name, Shneur, which can be understood to mean “two” which hints to the two lights of the revealed dimensions and the hidden dimensions of the Torah that he was greatly learned in.

The fourth day of Sukkot= Moses and the Mitteler Rebbe

These guests are also connected through Torah study. Moses transmitted the Torah to the entire Jewish people and so deeply connected to the Torah that the prophets referred to it as “the Torah of Moses, the servant of G-d.” He also interpreted the Torah for the people. Similarly, the Mitteler Rebbe also transmitted and interpreted the Torah and was renowned for his detailed explanations of the philosophical concepts of Hassidism.

The fifth day of Sukkot= Aaron and the Tzemach Tzedek

The guests of the fifth day teach us about love and harmony among all men. Aaron was known to epitomize these ideals and is described as one who, “loved peace, pursued peace, loved created beings and drew them close to Torah.” (Ethics of our Fathers 1:12). The Tzemach Tzedek was known to represent the development of harmony among the leaders and scholars of the Jewish community, establishing unity among the different sects of the Jewish community.

The sixth day= Joseph and the Rebbe Maharash

A famous saying of the Rebbe Maharash illustrates the common denominator between him and Joseph, “People say that if you can’t crawl under try to climb over. I say from the outset climb right over the top!” This was also the way Joseph lived his life as he rose from imprisoned slave to viceroy of Egypt.

The seventh day= King David and the Rebbe Rashab

Royalty is the attribute shared by King David and the Rebbe Rashab. The ultimate expression of the Kingship of King David will be in the Era of Redemption which the Rebbe Rashab played such a large role in drawing closer. These concepts only brushed the surface of these comparisons between the holy guests of Sukkot.

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