Start a blog

Blogs Zion's Corner

The Lesson of Seder Night

By Tzvi Fishman
3/12/2009, 12:00 AM

Thirty days before Pesach, we begin learning the halachot of the holiday.  With all of Pesach’s many stringent laws, it is important to recall the simple meaning of the celebration, as it is recreated for us via the festive Seder night.

Next Year in Jerusalem!

The Seder night, with its recounting of our birth as a nation, comes to teach us and our children that G-d wants us to live in the Land of Israel. It is as simple as that.

The Haggagah begins: “This year we are here (in Egypt, New York, Australia, England) – next year in the Land of Israel. This year we are slaves (in Egypt, California, Paris, South Africa) – next year free men (in our own country.)

If that isn’t enough for every six-year old to understand, the Seder concludes with the fervent hope: “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Can any lesson be clearer than this? But for some reason, even though we have been repeating it for 4000 years, even though we have El Al Airlines, the money for a ticket, and Nefesh B’Nefesh financial stipends for those needing aid, its message still hasn’t sunk in.

What more do you want G-d to do for you?

Why? Because the fleshpots of Egypt and America and Paris are very enticing for someone who only seeks the material aspects of life. But G-d demands more of a Jew. He wants us to put our material preoccupations aside, and to live in His Holy Land as holy Jews and as a holy Jewish NATION and this is something we can only do in our own Jewish Land, and not as scattered minorities in foreign places.

Sarah and Wonton prepare for their Seder in Kyoto

So, this month, while you are cleaning the chametz out of your homes and hearts, remember that the principle thing isn’t the wine, and the gefilte fish, and the Manischewitz chocolate chip macaroons, but rather the lesson of the Seder.

Take a supply along with your aliyah shipment

See you this year in Jerusalem!