in 2017, i hosted my first seder in my home. i grew up celebrating with my family, but hadn’t been attended or hosted a seder in 6 years. my mother sent me photos of family recipes, and i toiled over brisket and kishke and trying to get my matzo balls as fluffy as i remembered my bubbie’s used to be. during a moment of calm, i jotted this down:

for years, i’ve skipped rituals meant to mark time

unwilling to do them without

i’ve set your table, decoded your recipes

i’ll conjure you from here

this year was my third seder. at this point, we’ve got it down to a science. abhay hosts the first night, i host the second night. we cook and open our homes to strangers + loved ones and sing and drink and shout drunken renditions of song of songs. we’ve made this ritual our own. it’s home. it’s my home; it’s ours. but it could also be hers. i imagine my bubbie joining us when we open the door, saying “come, let us share our stories and rejoice in our survival. may anyone in search of community feel welcome here.”

and she is. she’s there, sipping from miriam’s cup, the miraculous well of living water.

RV Dougherty