Reporting from Israel – I have two Passover Seders every year, and every year we end with the phrase, “Next year in Jerusalem.” During my ninth grade Passover, I stopped and considered that next year I truly would be in Jerusalem. However, it was not at all what I expected. I had imagined that in Israel Passover would be a revered event. But after my experience, I feel that it means a lot more in the States.
We sat down at the Seder, and rushed through any blessing we even took the time to say. Maybe part of the reason the blessings felt rushed is because they are only read in Hebrew here.
We sat down at the Seder, and rushed through any blessing we even took the time to say. Maybe part of the reason the blessings felt rushed is because they are only read in Hebrew here. Because Hebrew is used every day, it makes the blessings and stories sound like a normal conversation.
There is also only one Seder in Israel. I don’t think that makes the holiday any less significant, but there is generally less preparation for something that only lasts one night (with the exception of Christmas, where people spend months preparing for one day). I feel like having one seder also lessens the social value of the holiday. With only one night, people normally spend Passover with their immediate family rather than preparing tons of food for guests.
One of the questions we were asked at the beginning of Tiferet was if we thought all Jews should live in Israel. I decided that Israel would not exist without the Diaspora, and I think it is much the same with Passover. If there were no Jews yearning for a Passover in Israel, Passover in Israel would not mean anything.