I can't believe that Pesach is already over. It really just sped by. I felt almost guilty eating bread today, as though my brain hadn't yet caught up with the idea that Pesach was over and that I wasn't doing something naughty.
Last year, at seder in Chicago, saying 'L'Shana Haba B'Yerushalayim" gave me a special thrill, because I already knew at that point that I was going to be spending Pesach the next year in Israel, and most likely in Yerushalayim. This year, I was here, in Israel (ok, Bet Shemesh instead of Uerushalayim, but it's close), and my thoughts were completely different.
Last year, I was focused on the idea of physically being in Israel. I, Cara, was going to be in the Holy Land next year. How cool is that? How exciting, how amazing, how thrilling...and so on and so forth. That special thrill that I felt was completely and 100% selfish. It was solely about me being in Israel the following year.
This year, on the other hand, it finally dawned on me why we say this one line on Pesach and at the end of the Yomim Noraim. Yes, I should have realized this long ago, but even I can be dense sometimes.
It's not about physically being here, as wonderful as it is. We're not asking that every Jew comes to spend Pesach here, in the kosher hotels in a 2 week vacation. We're not even asking that every Jew pick up and move to Israel. We're asking for Moshiach (whatever that word might mean to you). We're asking that next year finally be the time when we, as a nation, are where we're supposed to be, on the spiritual level. Maybe that's why we say it out loud, usually in unison. It's not about me. It's not about any one of us. It's about all of us, truly being free in the land promised to us.
L'Shana Haba B'Yerushalayim! Next Year in Jerusalem!