It is traditional to end seder with "Next Year in Jerusalem". We sometimes think of this as a literal wish, but Jerusalem is more than a place -- it is a feeling, a hope. Though it comes at the end of the seder, this moment also marks a beginning. We are beginning the next season with a renewed awareness of the freedoms we enjoy and the obstacles we must still confront. We are ready to embark on a year that we hope will bring positive change in the world and freedom to all people. And in the spirit of thinking about our own story of liberation as a catalyst for change in our world, we add an additional charge: Next year in a just world.
In The Leader's Guide to the Family Participation Haggadah: A Different Night, Rabbi David Hartman writes: “Passover is the night for reckless dreams; for visions about what a human being can be, what society can be, what people can be, what history may become.” What can we do to fulfill our reckless dreams? What will be our legacy for future generations? As we close our evening together, consider: what is your own personal Jerusalem where you hope to see yourself a year from now?
לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם
L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim
NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!
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