Our Word this time is not Hebrew, but rather Aramaic! It is a very interesting term that is used in the beautiful, joyous holiday of Succot (Succos), or the Feast of Tabernacles!
As many of you know, G-d’s people were in captivity in Babylon for 70 years where they had to converse and write in Aramaic. The most well-known Jewish commentary, the Babylonian Talmud, was written during this captivity and contains a lot of Aramaic. Portions of the Tenach, or Jewish Scriptures, also contain Aramaic words. Thus, Aramaic has been a part of Jewish life and culture throughout the centuries. Yeshua, Jesus, also spoke Aramaic.
USHPIZIN – The "u" in "Ush" is a long vowel, as in "loose." The first "i" is pronounced as a long "e." The second "i" is a short vowel, as in "thin." The accent is on the second syllable; "Ush-PEE-zin." The singular is "USHPIZ." The accent is on the second syllable; Ush-PEEZ.
USHPIZIN – Aramaic for "GUESTS"; Prayers said to welcome the Patriarchs into the succah, or booth, during Succot.
The well-known Jewish mystical work, the Zohar, states, "When one sits in the Sukkah. . . Abraham and six righteous men come to share his company. . . Everyone should try to invite an equal number of poor people to share his meals in the Sukkah. . ." Based on this reference, religious Jewish people say a prayer on each of the days of Succos to invite the following Patriarchs into the succah: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David.
On each of the seven days of the holiday, upon entering the succah, the following prayer is said: "I invite sublime guests to dinner — Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David." On the first day, the following is recited: "O Abraham, my exalted guest, may it please you to have all the exalted guests dwell with us — Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David." On the second day, the same prayer is recited in the following way: "O Isaac, my exalted guest, may it please you to have all the exalted guests dwell with us — Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David." This prayer continues in the same fashion for the remainder of Succot.
How our hearts long for God’s beloved people, the Jewish people, to invite the Most Exalted Ushpiz ("Guest") into their hearts and lives, even Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah! He is the One who, in the Brit Chadasha ("New Covenant"), exclaimed, "Your father, Abraham, rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad." ". . . Before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:56, 58). He is the One whom Dovid Melekh, King David, wrote about in Tehillah (Psalm) 110:1, "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." He is the Prophet whom Moses wrote about in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:15, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken."
During the seven days of Succos, as the guests enter the succah, a beautiful prayer is recited. "May it be thy will, Lord my God and God of my fathers, to cause thy divine spirit to dwell in our midst. O spread over us thy shelter of peace, and encircle us with thy majestic glory, holy and pure. . ."
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." – John 1:14.