Painting the Ushpizin (and Decorating for Sukkot!)

Sukkot 0

Hello dear readers,

One of my favorite parts of Sukkot is decorating the sukkah. Every year we dig out all the old sukkah decorations from the giant box where we keep it during the year, and even though the old decorations should be enough to fill the entire sukkah, we always find room for new decorations as well! (It’s a Sukkot miracle!) We have paper chains and fake fruit hanging from the walls, elaborate centerpieces of papier-mache or plastic, collages of all kinds, and much much more! I admit that I’m partial to some of the older pieces in our collection, from when the kids were doing art projects in first or second grade, but everyone always manages to amaze me with the new stuff they create every year.

Even though everyone in the family contributes decoration in their own artistic style, my daughter Ronit is the artist in the family. She just has the visual eye for that kind of thing. Every year, the rest of us go for quantity more than quality in the sukkah decorations, going through lots of art supplies to make the paper chains or drawings or what have you. Ronit, though, goes for quality. She makes one painting per Sukkot, but she really makes it count.

Right now, she’s in the middle of a watercolor series in which she paints a scene featuring each member of the seven Ushpizin. There are seven Ushpizin and seven colors of the rainbow, so each one has one predominant color. Right now, she has only done two of the series. Two years ago, she started with Yosef, using yellow to show the sands of Egypt and his rise to power from poor shepherd to the viceroy of Egypt. Then last year she did Moshe in blue, focusing on the Nile river and the ten commandments which were carved in sapphire. They’re both amazing (and I’m not just saying that because I’m her mom), and I can’t wait for the next one!

When I asked Ronit if she knew what she would paint this year for Sukkot, she said she didn’t know yet. (We’re going away for a kosher Sukkot vacation, so I don’t know if she’s going to paint something before, we go away or if she’s going to wait until next year.) I also asked her if she knew which color she wanted to pair with each of the Ushpizin. I’m not an artist, but I would want to plan it out, so I knew which color went with which figure, and I wouldn’t be stuck with, let’s say, a pairing of Yitzchak and orange (though for all I know, maybe that’s what Ronit would want anyway, and I’m sure it would be beautiful!). But when I asked her this, she gave a noncommittal answer. So, we’ll have to see!

More soon,


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