NIRTZAH ~ Closing
Reader: At the end of the seder, Jews have always vowed to one another:“L’shana haba-a bi-Y’rushalayim/ Next Year in Jerusalem!” Why does the seder end with this vow?
Reader: For Jews, forced into diaspora two thousand years ago, wandering always in countries which were sometimes safe harbors and sometimes nightmares, the dream of Jerusalem was more than the city itself.
Reader: To dream that next year we would be in Jerusalem is to dream of a land and a time of autonomy, safety, self-determination, the right to one’s own culture and language and spirituality, to live on land that can’t be taken from you by the whim of an outside power. To live with the basic right to be who you are. Jerusalem comes from the same word root as “shalom” which is usually translated as “peace” but actually means “wholeness.”
Reader: But this year, in Jerusalem, wholeness is very far away, and the news seems to be worse with each passing day. Still, when we look for the sparks of resistance, we see them everywhere. Fed by an aching for justice, some sparks have already grown to small brush fires, and grow in strength each day.
This year we say instead:
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