At the close of the Passover seder we declare, “L’shanah ha’ba-ah bi-rushalyim!” “In the coming year, in Jerusalem!”
Some of us have had the pleasure of celebrating Passover in Jerusalem. Some of us long to do so. Some of us would prefer to celebrate in the comfort of home with family and friends. Some of us observe Passover in our community seder. What does it mean to us to say, “Next year in Jerusalem?”
In Hebrew we pronounce Jerusalem as Yirushalayim, and we can translate it as “City of Peace.”
Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers? Because just days before our festival, the democratically elected leader of the most powerful nation in the world made the journey to Jerusalem to deliver a message of support and hope, building on the Passover themes of freedom and self-determination.
I urge everyone take the time to view President Obama’s historic March 21st speech in Jerusalem at the International Convention Center. It will add to your Passover joy to hear the applause and cheers of the Israeli university students in attendance.