Ushpizin

by on April 29, 2013

In Jerusalem’s orthodox neighborhoods, it’s Succoth, seven days celebrating life’s essentials in a sukkot, a temporary shack of both deprivation and hospitality. A devout couple, Moshe and Mali, married nearly five years and childless, are broke and praying for a miracle. Suddenly, miracles abound: a friend finds Moshe a sukkot he says is abandoned, Moshe is the beneficiary of local charitable fundraising, and two escaped convicts arrive on Moshe and Mali’s doorstep in time to be their ushpizin – their guests. The miracles then become trials. Rabbinical advice, absolution, an effort to avoid anger, and a 1000-shekel citron figure in Moshe’s dark night of the soul.