Spread forth your branches

Now we no longer have to say ‘Next year in Jerusalem,’ for we are already here

April 11, 2019 21:56
3 minute read.
Spread forth your branches

‘AT LAST, at the Seder, I can join in with a full heart, “Next year in Jerusalem the Rebuilt!”’. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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The phrase that traditionally ends every Seder is “Next year in Jerusalem.” All over the world, Jews say this at Passover, but how many actually mean it? Just as, at every Seder, we drink four cups of wine and pour out a fifth for the Prophet Elijah, and it still remains full at the end of the meal.

I remember as a child, before the State of Israel was born, back in Australia, we also said: “Next year in Jerusalem,” but we didn’t mean it. My parents, both born in Melbourne, never left Australia’s shores. I traveled extensively, but coming to Jerusalem never crossed my mind. The majesty of London, the gondolas of Venice, the boulevards of Paris, the snowy mountains of Switzerland, the mystery of Hong Kong... but Jerusalem? It was a mythical place from Bible stories. In my ignorance, I wasn’t sure it even existed.


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