All night long we have been reliving the story of the Exodus, striving to awaken our present consciousness to redemption. Moments ago the wave of the past finally broke over us, sweeping away the boundary between then and now as we burst into the praises of Hallel. Redemption was transformed from a story about our ancestors into the here and now and given life through our song. But in the midst of our excitement, a question arises. The past is gone forever, and as deep as our present joy may be, it is fleeting. Where is this feeling of freedom taking us?

Now is the time to know that our service tonight has found favor in the eyes of the Redeemer. Nirtzah is not a prayer which attempts to fix what was, or even a joyful offering to God of what has just come to be. Nirtzah is an assertion of hope. It is the confidence that the true fruit of our service tonight will be a redeemed future. The power of Nirtzah lies in our knowledge that we have succeeded in telling a story of our past which now infuses our present with joy. And that our rejoicing in freedom has planted within us the seeds of our future. May our present joy become the fertile ground out of which a truly redeemed future will grow − l’shana haba’ah b’Yerushalayim habenuyah! Next year in the Jerusalem of which we dream!

haggadah Section: Nirtzah
Source: Mike Feuer in