Monday, 6 October 2014

A Sukkot Story~Ushpizin

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
On Wednesday evening we will sit in the Sukkah for the first time this year. In the orthodox neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, there has been a massive building spree for the past few days and every spare inch of space, be it on a roof top, balcony or along the sidewalk, sports a myriad of wooden structures with schach for the roof.

This temporary abode is a must for the eight days of Sukkot, as is the imperitive to invite guests (ushpizin) to sit in your sukkah and enjoy food and drink. It is said that one must try to be happy for the entire eight days of the holiday~something that is not always easy!

The film below is the story of a devout couple, Moshe and Mali. Although married nearly five years, they remain childless and broke. Mali is praying for a miracle for Sukkot.

Unbelievably it appears that Mali's prayers are being answered. A friend tells Moshe of a sukkah that has been abandoned and offers to help assemble it. Meanwhile, a local charity decides at the last minute to make the family the beneficiary of their fundraising. There are even two unexpected guests (ushpizin) to share their bounty.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

It seems too good to be true (and it is)! Moshe decides he must have the best etrog ever~at the unheard of price of NIS 1,000. Mali is horrified that all of their money has been spent, and the ushpizin turn out to be escaped convicts who soon show their true colours as they decide to "stay on".

Suddenly the miracles have become trials. The convicts reveal Moshe's past and try to lure him into his old ways. Mali is suspicious and of course, there has to be some "rabbinical advice" thrown in for good measure. Moshe wants to do the right thing~but can this mess work out in the end?

This is actually a very good film. You will see the intimate lifestyle in a small, religious community, and share the stress as Moshe and Mali try to work out their troubles. It is in Hebrew, but there are English sub-titles, and  it is a film well worth watching.

Ushpizin~A Story for Sukkot

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