Sukkot: The heart of the Sukkah

let the walls of my heart
be easily moved
as the walls of the Sukkah
that sway in the wind

let the roof of my heart
be porous to tears
as the roof of the Sukkah
that lets in the rain

let the space in my heart
be open to guests
as to Ushpizin
who pass through each night

let the beat of my heart
be a vital reminder
that life here is transient –
a temporary dwelling

let the walls, left unsealed,
and the roof, with its lattice,
frame the cracks
that will let in the light

In her article on the Ushpizin, Lesli Koppelman Ross notes that one aspect of this ritual of inviting the celestial guests, the Ushpizin, is that it serves as a reminder of the duty to take care of the needy. In some congregations, she describes how provisions were delivered to the poor with a note saying, “This is the share of the Ushpizin.” Koppelman Ross adds that the Ushpizin were reputed to refuse to enter a sukkah where the poor were not welcomed.


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