To Everyone Who Came


We had 270 guests at our sukkah table last Sukkot, and I wrote this piece to express our wonder and gratitude for this extraordinary experience.

To everyone who graced us with the fine glitter and beauty of their presence at our beautiful Yom Tov table this chag,

We would like to say:

Without you, we feel lost; adrift in minds that feel hollow with fear and worry, that work hard and see only darkness.

Without you, how would we share the caring and the joy that ricochet from our hearts to all of yours and back, like the best kind of destruction? You bless mine and me with boundary-breaking joy.

Without you, how would we learn to smile and to sing in the face of formidable challenges, spiritual tests, and physical discomfort?

How would we translate the generosity we absorbed from you, dear friends and family, and soak to our bones and flesh in the love that you bring to life, to friendship, to holding each other in our sacred, safe spaces, to meeting each other where we all seem to be in the present?

No pressure, no discomfort, just all the right ways to express all the right feelings…we are learning from the best.

No pain is acute and unbearable that is shared with others who fearlessly sit in the hole that pain has hollowed out, to be beside you.

No faith is complete without the mirroring of ours in your eyes above the glow of candles at this table of communion.

This was more than just an orgy of food; a spilling of so many conversations—sentimental, analytical, mundane and complex, like rivers into the starry darkness.

The shimmering heat, outside the little haven we made for each other, in the sukkah filled with color and light.

This was a joining together of every heart that stretched to accommodate the other and every difference that bled and faded into borders and lines that have, since the breaking of bread, been erased and forgotten.

I love you all; your whole and honest selves, which you brought to us as gifts, without petty and shallow embellishments…and the wine and cider helped a lot too.

Come again—it was our pleasure, as we hope that it was for you.

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Mirel Adler is an Orthodox Jewish writer and Clinical Social Worker who lives in a small vibrant community in South Jersey with her 4 opinionated biological children and an assortment of chosen family members. She has a therapy practice which services Lakewood and Cherry Hill, specializing in helping families communicate well. Mirel actually has a husband who loves to cook, which frees her up to get into no end of adventures! Mirel writes and reads her original poetry as a spoken word artist who frequently performs at open mic events in South Jersey and Philadelphia.