The Four Species of Shabbat Guest

There’s a well known Midrash which compares the four species that we take on Sukkot with four personality types. There are 2 variables – Torah and good deeds – which yield 4 possible combinations.

Having been in Israel for over a year now and having frequent Shabbat guests of the year-in-Israel type, and more precisely of the ‘seminary girl’ type, we can say with certitude that the same four categories apply to Shabbat guests. Sometimes, the guests are very engaging and participate in discussion and Divrei Torah at the Shabbat table. Sometimes, they are very helpful with set-up, clean-up, and taking care of the kids. Sometimes they are both. Sometimes they are neither.

We don’t really like having aravot for Shabbat. Any of the other three are fine.

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