Sukkot and a movie recommendation: Ushpizin

Right now, Jews throughout the world are observing Sukkot. Though my husband and I come from families that have been Christian for many generations, I love learning about the Jewish religion. When we lived in Chicago, each autumn we saw small rooms built of wood on the driveways of families in our city. I learned that they were celebrating Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. This temporary shelter is called a Sukkoh, and they celebrate the week of Sukkot in them to remind themselves of the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness after leaving Egypt and before arriving in the promised land.

My daughter and I learned something about the Sukkoh from this short video.


I found this 7 minute video on building the Sukkoh interesting also.

One of my favorite movies is set in modern times in Jerusalem during Sukkot. I find it entertaining, moving, and faith inspiring each time I watch it. It is in Hebrew with English sub-titles, and the title, Ushpizin, means "Sukkot guests."

It added to my enjoyment of the movie to know a little about the lead actor, Shuli Rand, who wrote the script and is a religious Jew. As a young adult, he relinquished his orthodoxy for a few years, during which he studied acting and for a while had a successful stage career. He then returned to orthodoxy, and several years later, with rabbinical supervision, made this movie. According to hearsay, they had a difficult time finding someone to play the wife, and eventually had his actual wife, who had no acting experience, play the part. She plays it wonderfully.

In the movie, an orthodox Jewish couple struggles with their poverty and infertility. They strive to celebrate Sukkot faithfully, but they are challenged and blessed in their efforts, and it is often difficult to differentiate between the two.

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About Sunny

My name is Sunny, and my husband and I have five "children" ages 19 to 4. I love learning. I have a M.F.A. in Humanities and dream about going back to school some day. I run around doing "mom" stuff, try to put a nutritious dinner on the table for whomever shows up, and I thrive on creative projects when possible. Mostly I strive to just keep up with the mountains and mole hills of day to day life.
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