The order of the Ushpizin according to the Zohar (Thank you Mekubal!) corresponds to the order of the Sefiros each one represents. Why does the Shelah disagree and place Yosef before Moshe, Aharon, and Dovid?

If you answer that he is concerned with chronological order then why does Moshe come before Aharon?

If the Shelah is concerned with chronological order, what is the fundamental underpinning of the argument between these two views of the seven days of Sukkos?

Sources (with links) please!

  • do you have a link to the Shelah?
    – Menachem
    Jun 20, 2011 at 18:57

3 Answers 3


Actually the Arizal doesn't speak on this topic. The order that is followed by the mekubalim is derived from the Zohar parashat Emor 103b and through onto 104. The Matok UMdvash commentary also claims that the Remak in his commentary discusses the issue(neither are online that I know of). However as to the Ushpizin and their order the Arizal himself is absolutely silent. I even ran a few searches through DBS to make sure my memory wasn't failing me.

I know that it doesn't answer your question... but it does seem relevant to the discussion. Also, in that light, while I will have to track down exact sources and links Aharon, Moshe and Yosef all represent the same sefira(Tiferet or Z"A to be more exact) according to the Arizal.

  • Are you sure you do not mean they represent the same partzuf? Isn't it basic Kabbalah that Moshe represents Netzach, Aharon -Hod, and Yoseph - Yesod?
    – Yahu
    Sep 22, 2010 at 2:17
  • 1
    The first drush of Shaarei Kedusha says Moshe was the panim of tiferet and Aaron was the ahor of tiferet. All of Z"A(which is a Partzuf). David HaMelekh on the other hand was the Tiferet of Nukh(or Keter it is a Makhloket that the Divrei Shalom tackles in great length). Sep 23, 2010 at 21:08
    – TwoOs
    May 28, 2021 at 3:22

When counting the Ushpizin chronologically, Moshe and Aharon are the only ones who lived at the same time. In fact, Moshe was younger, so it would make sense to put him second (as you asked). A couple possible answers:

  • In Shemos 6:26-27, Rashi points out that the reason one passuk says Aharon's name first and the other says Moshe's name first is to show they were equal. However, a lot of the Commentaries on Rashi explain Moshe was greater than Aharon, but in this case they were equal. See here, here and here.

  • The Ushpizin are referred to as the "shepherds of the jewish people". Moshe role as shepherd was unarguably greater than Aharon's role.

  • The Jewish Press, in a Q&A that discusses Ushpizin, says "we find Moses always preceding Aaron, even though Aaron was his elder."

Ta'ami Minhagim (also brought in the Jewish Press article) give a reason for the Kabalistic order:

  • Aharon passed away on Rosh Chodesh Av. Rosh Chodesh Av always falls out on the same day of the week as the 5th day of Sukkot. Moshe desired the same death as Aharon, and Hashem granted him his wish. Therefore the 4th day of Sukkot is always the same day of the week as the previous Lag Ba'omer, the passing of Rashbi. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was a Gilgul of Moshe Rabbeinu. (Incidentally, one of the reasons given for why the passing of Rashbi is a holiday, but the passing of Moshe is a fast day, is that we fast because the soul of Moshe Rabbeinu never entered the land of Israel, but it did when reincarnated as Rashbi, and therefore we celebrate on the day of his passing)

The Taamei Haminhagim, quoting the "Kocho D'Rashbi", points out that there is one place in the Zohar where the order of the Ushpizin is mentioned chronologically. He then connects this to a hint for the order of the Ushpizin in Parshat Vayechi, that could be interpreted either way.

The Pasuk in Bereshit 48:3 says:

וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל יוֹסֵף אֵל שַׁדַּי נִרְאָה אֵלַי בְּלוּז בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתִי:

  • the numerical value of אֵ-ל שַׁ-דַּי is the same as the numerical value of Moshe.

  • the word נִרְאָה are the same letters of the name Aharon.

So, according to the Chronological order, the Passuk has 1) Yaakov, 2) Yosef, 3) Moshe, 4) Aharon.

According to the Kabbalistic order, Yaakov is Telling Yosef that he wants Moshe and Aharon to be "Eilay", next to him, i.e. preceding Yosef in the order of Ushpizin.

I haven't seen the Sheloh inside (a link would be nice), so I don't know if he gives a reason for his order, but according to all these reasons we can see why Moshe comes before Aharon.


I've got no source, but couldn't we just say that it's in chronological order of their assuming their special roles? God appointed Moshe to be Rabbeinu shortly before He appointed Aharon to be Moshe's ambassador. And, if we restrict ourselves to the roles they're best known for, Moshe was Rabbeinu at least a year before Aharon was HaKohen.

  • 2
    "Shlach na b'yad tishlach" -- Aharon had actually started a prophetic career before Moshe, but again, we're focusing on the story as we know it (not the implied backstory).
    – Shalom
    Sep 21, 2010 at 14:30
  • 2
    I added another sentence to my answer suggesting that Aharon's ascendancy to Kehuna may be the real landmark anyway.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 21, 2010 at 14:47

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