"One year, while studying the Sukkot themes of fragility of life and concern for earth's ecosystems, I suggested to neighbors that we try a new tradition for Sukkot, that of inviting one mystery guest each night to dine in our shared sukkah. We thought this would be a way to make it fun for the children to learn and practice the mitzvah of hahnassat orhim, 'the welcoming of guests' . . . .
"For example, one night I arrived home to find that my children had decorated two welcome chairs with crunched up soda cans, foil, newspapers, and bottles. Who could the guests be? They turned out to be the team who worked on the recycling truck that serviced our neighborhood. In this case one happened to be of Hispanic descent; the other from a recently arrived Polish family. Neither had ever been a guest in a Jewish home. After the regular sukkah rituals, we offered a toast in their honor and the children read an essay explaining why they saw the efforts of the recycling collectors as holy work.
"In turn, the two men answered all the children's many questions about their lives and work, and we also answered lots of questions about Judaism. The clanking sound of the weekly arrival of the recycling truck became an invitation to visit with friends forever after."