The meaning of “Next year in Jerusalem”

2 years ago ssalles 0

When I was younger, my family would host a Passover seder every year. Each year, when we reached the famous phrase at the end of the seder: “next year in Jerusalem,” I would find myself curious about what it meant. Were they being serious? Or was this supposed to mean something deeper and metaphorical?

 

I couldn’t get the phrase out of my head, and I was evaded by curiosity. I knew I needed to investigate! When I was in ninth grade, my questions were finally answered, and I’m happy to share it with you now.

 

According to our sages, we are currently in the third and final exile before the coming of Moshiach, the time of redemption. Galut, or exile, is the time of darkness before redemption. During this time, not all people see things in the way of Hashem. When Moshiach comes, the third temple will be rebuilt and all the Jews will be in Israel. Jews will also be enlightened to do things in the way of Hashem and the Torah. It’s kind of like going through the hardships of high school and then graduating so you can follow your dreams. After high school, you think of things in a new way.

 

There are many descriptions of Moshiach, including stories and explanations about when it will come, by who, and how. Across the board, regardless of the stories we are told, we know that Moshiach won’t come until the Jewish nation is ready. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, said the following: “The Messiah’s coming is not simply the redemption of the Jews, . . . but a general change in the entire world . . .we will recognize that G-d encompasses past, present, and future as one.”

 

How do we do this? What does this mean? How should we prepare for Moshiach to arrive? You can start with the tiniest thing—pick any mitzvah and try to keep it to the best of your ability. Once you do that and are comfortable, keep going. If you forget or do a little,  it’s okay—as long as you try, Hashem will appreciate your efforts. Keep doing this at your own pace and level.

 

After doing all of this, you will realize your own inner light and see a positive impact and change for the better. Moshiach could come tomorrow, next week, or anytime. For now, let’s inspire others to do good in the world. Remember, one small action can make the biggest difference. Be the change that positively impacts the world.