Each and every year we begin the Pesach Seder with the words:
לשנה הבאה בירושלים
“Next year in Jerusalem”
And what it has meant for nearly 2,000 years is:
Next year will be better.
Even in the best of times, when a wonderful Seder with family, friends, fine food and deep discussion was enjoyed, we said these words. We declared that next year would be better.
Like breaking the glass at the end of the wedding, we reminded ourselves not to be complacent.
We reminded ourselves that the search for redemption requires us to constantly strive to make our lives, our community and our world better. Next year would be better, no matter how good this year was.
And in the worst of times, when Jews huddled quietly to hide from their persecutors, these words, "next year in Jerusalem", gave them comfort and strength. Even in the worst of times we had our faith in God's compassion. Even in the worst of times we knew that redemption was around the corner.
This year, as we gather for the Seder, alone or in very small groups, the words לשנה הבאה בירושלים, next year in Jerusalem, are a great comfort. We are faced with a health and economic crisis, and the thought that a year from now our seders will be back to normal, offers us hope during this difficult time. Yes, next year will be better.
But we must also promise we will not be complacent. This year, as we search for redemption, we must promise to help each other, call each other, and support each other.
We must come together as a community to face our challenges together.
At KJ, we are saying next year in Jerusalem. Next year will be better. Next year the synagogue will be filled with activity and overflowing services.
But until then we will continue to learn together, to pray together, and to help each other
We will face our challenges together and say:
לשנה הבאה בירושלים
Next year in Jerusalem.