The artwork on this note card was featured on the cover of the 5776/2015-16 WRJ Art Calendar, created by Helaine Bach for the WRJ/NFTY Art Contest.
The Zohar teaches us that the sukkah contains such an intense concentration of spiritual energy that it becomes a worldly paradise, providing a holy space for the indwelling of our ancestors. The seven exalted guests (ushpizin), who were traditionally invited into our sukkot, were: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David. Today, we also invite into our sukkot seven female leaders of Israel: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, and Esther. As we invite these traditional, spiritual guests, we are reminded of the importance of inviting others into our sukkot. The mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, the welcoming of guests, extends to all those groups, friends and strangers, who we invite to share the bounty of our sukkah. Symbolically, we might invite all those who inspire us to strive for holiness; practically, we might invite all those in need to partake of our hospitality.