Adapted from Jewish Boston.
Nirtzah marks the conclusion of the seder. Our bellies are full, we have had several glasses of wine, we have told stories and sung songs, and now it is time for the evening to come to a close. At the end of the seder, we honor the tradition of declaring, “Next year in Jerusalem!”
For some people, the recitation of this phrase expresses the anticipation of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah. For others, it is an affirmation of hope and of connectedness with Klal Yisrael, the whole of the Jewish community. Still others yearn for peace in situations around the world—and in our own country—where people remain enslaved, oppressed, impoverished, homeless and fearful.
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 reminded of our responsibility of Tikkun Olam—repairing the world. Humanity's responsibility to change, improve, and fix its earthly surroundings is powerful. It implies that each person has a hand in working towards the betterment of his or her own existence as well as the lives of future generations. Tikkun olam forces people to take ownership of their world.
Our seder is over, according to Jewish tradition and law. As we had the pleasure to gather for a seder this year, we hope to once again have the opportunity in the years to come. We pray that God brings health and healing to us and all the people of the world. . As we say… לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!
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