These web pages are linked to a project called the Ushpizin Online Conference. which began and continues as a Facebook group by the same name. We use Zoom Conference software to watch and discuss the movie USHPIZIN. The conferences are free and open to all.
The movie is in Hebrew with English subtitles. This project is entirely free with zero obligation. We do this to share spiritual insights from Torah with anyone interested.
ON THE SURFACE …
This is a story of Moshe and Mali Bellanga, a poor Hasidic couple in Jerusalem. They have great difficulty paying their bills, and have no money to prepare for the upcoming holiday of Sukkot. They also greatly wish to have a child.
The couple unexpectedly comes into $1,000, which they view as a true miracle. Moshe heads out and purchases what is considered the most beautiful etrog in the city for a large sum of 1000 shekels (approximately $300). The etrog is a lemon-like fruit used in the observance of the holiday. Moshe believes the etrog will bring a blessing for them to have a child.
They are about to begin enjoying their holiday when they are visited by two men, one a friend from Moshe’s “old days” when he ran with a tough crowd. The two happen to be convicts who did not return to prison from a leave. They become Moshe and Mali’s guests (ushpizin) in the sukkah, creating many conflicts for them.
BELOW THE SURFACE …
The characters in the movie represent one or more spiritual concepts. The connections that take place between them result in all sorts of unexpected and complex situations. Behind the scenes, G-d is orchestrating something amazing – though it’s almost impossible, even for a very righteous person, to understand this. In addition to offering spiritual insight on themes of; anger and forgiveness, faith and trust, mercy and judgment, etc., the movie also reveals deeper concepts such as:
- Hashgaha Pratit – specific divine providence where G-d ‘more directly involves Himself’ in situations
- Teshuvah – return to your true ‘self, which is, made in the Image of G-d
- Tikkun Middot – the rectification of one’s attributes, through prayer, study, and correct actions
- Tzimtzum – any form of ‘constriction’ in life, that occurs for the purpose of revealing something that you did not understand beforehand
IF YOU PLAN TO JOIN AN ONLINE CONFERENCE …
Please set aside 3 hours for attending any live conference as the movie is about 90 minutes in length and there’s an equal amount of discussion. We break it up into 6 parts with discussion during the breaks. For sign-in info, join the Ushpizin Online Conference facebook group or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW …
Each of the links below will enhance your experience with the movie and discussions, and help bring you “up to speed,” when attending a conference for the first time.