My favorite Sukkot custom is the hospitality towards “ushpizin” (Aramaic for guests) encouraged by the holiday. This tradition has felt particularly relevant as I’ve traveled to various Jewish communities over the course of the past few weeks. In every region visited thus far, I’ve been met with generous hospitality from Alephs and BBG’s, Regional Directors, and parents. In Seattle, I joined the Regional N’siah, Taleah Levin, and members of the EGR community in breaking the Yom Kippur fast with delicious matzah ball soup and pickleball. At Fall Regional Kickoff in CSR in Memphis, late night chats (you know, the ones that only happen at conventions) transformed into meaningful friendships. In Atlanta, GAR friends from Kallah 2018 met at Mellow Mushroom Pizza to relive fond summer memories. With many thanks to the Jewish moms of the world, I have yet to leave a community feeling anything other than overly well fed.
Perhaps the custom of welcoming Ushpizin (or any other of the customs for that matter) aren’t exclusive to a select few days each year; on the contrary, it seems as though we celebrate these practices year round, and for good reason.
As we leap into 5779, I’m evaluating how I can practice my Jewish life in harmony with my adventures; considering how I can live the values of our religion in my day to day; defining what “practicing Jewish tradition in my everyday life” means to me. And I’m certainly feeling immense gratitude to all those who have welcomed me into their communities as we partner to grow AZA and BBG.
Noga is a BBG from Central Region West and is serving as the 74th International N'siah.
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