Sukkot is one of the most beloved times of year at the kibbutz. All of us came together to build a big sukkah in the yard where we celebrated the first festive evening meal. The children of the kibbutz helped decorate and learned about the meaning and significance of the holiday.
Our approach to the holidays combines Jewish tradition with our own unique customs. Every year, each kibbutz member writes something about what Sukkot means to them and we weave these together to make an anthology to mark our community’s celebration.
The Counselor Fulfills Ushpizin*
By Amit Yizraeli, a member of the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz
Once every year, the holiday of Sukkot sheds light on certain values and ideas that are worthy of finding shape and expression in our culture and society.
This year I learned something new about the mitzvah of ushpizin.
The counselor fulfills ushpizin.
The counselor who makes room in her heart for her students, who embraces, loves, demands.
Who makes her student feel what she feels, who offers them partnership, and a place in her movement.
A counselor who does all this in her soul, not from on high, not by lecturing, not through great ceremony, but inside her soul, she fulfills every day the mitzvah of ushpizin.
This kind of education is like an ongoing ushpizin, of inviting in students, friends, partners.
That’s what I learned this year, about fulfilling the mitzvah of ushpizin day to day. I didn’t learn it from a coordinator, or a supervisor, but from a friend and partner who every day makes room in her heart for her students and for all those around her.
May we all learn and be blessed by this aspect of ushpizin – of the hospitality of the heart.
Pictured in the photo is Derech, one of the groups that make up the Akko Educators' Kibbutz. This year, they chose to carry on learning together about the themes of the holiday after putting the kids to bed. Kudos to little Adam Keidar-Cohen who refused to go to sleep and insisted on joining us for the late night group discussion."
*The mitzvah of hospitality associated with inviting guests into the sukkah.