On the 8th Day of Passover, we held an interesting conversation after services: what does L'Shanah Ha'ba'ah BiYerushalayim/Next Year In Jerusalem mean to us as Jewish Americans?
Most people said they said it by rote, not realizing the profound statement of these three words – but rarely do we take the words to heart.
Most of the answers were about a personal ideal – Jerusalem is a place that exists in us, or it is a metaphor for world peace.
One person said – “when I say those words, I feel guilty.” She elaborated: “I feel guilty because I know that I made my life here in America, and yet, there's a Jewish state in Israel that I am not a citizen of, and there's a level of guilt I feel about not living there.”
I want to share with you the words of Jeffrey Goldberg regarding these words from the New American Haggadah: