(While we go around the circle, taking turns reading paragraphs, those not reading sing quietly the tune from the beginning of the Seder.)
It is traditional to end the Seder with a promise: "l'shana ha'ba'a b'yerushalayim - next year in Jerusalem." What does this promise mean?
The city of Jerusalem is sacred for Jews, Muslims, and Christians - for billions of people around the world. For Jews forced into the diaspora 2,000 years ago, wandering always in countries which were sometimes safe harbors and sometimes nightmares, the dream of Jerusalem was more than the city itself.
The name Jerusalem translates to "City of Peace" or "City of Wholeness." This year in Jerusalem, peace and wholeness are still very far away. What would it look like to see a city that lives up to its name?
To dream that next year would be in Jerusalem is to dream of a place and a time of autonomy, safety, self-determination, the right to one's own culture and language and spirituality, to live on a 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.
This year in Cambridge, we have committed ourselves to the work of building a liberated Jewish community committed to freedom and dignity for all people. It is in this spirit that we say (all together):
"L'shana ha'ba'a b'yerushalayim - next year in Jerusalem."
"L'shana ha'ba'a b'shalom - next year in Peace."
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