Tag Archives: next year in Jerusalem

This Year in Haifa

1 Apr

I’m on a train heading back down south to meet the Walk About Love group to start the second half of my journey on the shvil. I feel rested, relaxed, and renewed. I felt thankful for every hot shower I took, sleeping indoors on a comfy bed, a bathroom (!), and dear friends. Ok I’ll be honest I definitely even felt grateful for sitting on a couch, digging my feet into a soft rug, and I I hugged my very clean clothes after they came out of the dryer for a long time. It’s amazing how easy it is to take for granted such things and then without them how grateful one can feel when reunited with such pleasures!

I wrestled a lot with how to spend Pesach this year while I was in Israel. Do I stay with the group on the trail and celebrate amidst the desert backdrop at a campsite or do I leave the trail and be with friends and be at a seder that would feel similar to what I am used to at home?

To make my decision I thought a lot about what the words, “next year in Jerusalem” mean at the end of the Haggadah. Originally these words made it into the Haggadah to symbolize ultimate redemption. We will only truly be free once the messiah is here and we are all in Jerusalem. Over the centuries before the state of Israel came to be this phrase also represented the longing of the Jewish people to have a homeland. “Home” being the key word there for me.

As I reflected on what those words meant to me this year, I realized they mean a desire to feel at “home” for the holiday. And since I am not physically home with my family then I had to think about what would feel like the next best thing. And so I was so thankful to be welcome into the home of the Ben-Chorin family…dear friends with an incredibly warm home.

And as I uttered the words “bashanah habah b’yerushalyim” this year I thought about what “Yerushalayim” translates to…yireh – he will see God, shalem – complete or wholeness. And this to me is what is important to me when celebrating and observing holidays…being with people who make you feel whole and complete and feeling a sense of divine presence in the celebration, whether in Jerusalem, Haifa, New York, Connecticut, or Texas!

I definitely wished to have been in three places at once this Passover as it’s hard to be away over holidays, but I am truly filled up and excited to get back on the trail!

Wishing everyone a moadim L’simcha (happy holiday)!