At the seder, we recite Ha Lachma and say: הָשַׁתָּא הָכָא, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּאַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל -- This year we are here, next year in the Land of Israel. Do they say that in Israel?

I have no problem with saying "Leshana habba-a birushalayim -- Next year in Jerusalem" in Israel, at the end of the seder, because it means "I hope that next year I will STILL be in Jerusalem." I have a problem with saying, in Israel, "This year we are here, next year in the Land of Israel."

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    For Chanukah, “A great miracle happened THERE” is changed to “HERE”.
    – JJLL
    Mar 31, 2019 at 2:41
  • @JJLL the problem with that is that נגה"ש isn't actually for נס גדול הי׳ שם, rather it's for the Yiddish instructions to play the game: ניכט גאנץ האלב שטעל Mar 31, 2019 at 4:08
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    I once celebrated the holiday with an otherwise very traditional Algerian Jewish family that ommited the phrase entirely. When I asked why I was told that once the Old City was recaptured in '67 and we were theoretically able to live there again, there was no need to proclaim "Next Year in Jerusalem" anymore Mar 31, 2019 at 4:38
  • I personally believe this boils down to the same answer as l'shana habo biyerushalayim habenuyah - we are talking about when eretz yisroel becomes truly arah d'yisroel.
    – user15253
    Apr 3, 2019 at 12:30

3 Answers 3


Many commentaries do not take this at all literally. On that basis saying this phrase in Israel would be as the authors intended, and one would not need to change to another phrase because it wasn’t meant literally.

Ritva interprets this phrase as saying we are now only fulfilling ‘poor mans bread’, next year we will fulfill pesach with all its laws (i.e. the sacrifice etc).

Shiboley Haleket (and Zevach Hapesach) equally hints at this by saying that next year we will perform Pesach properly in Jerusalem. Yaavetz seems to say that being in Israel next year refers to exactly a state in time when we are able to both be in Israel and perform the Pesach sacrifice. Gevuros Hashem adds that although we may be in Israel, since we are still under the rule of others, we cannot build the temple and bring sacrifices, the phrase therefore ends with hope for being free men next year.

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    None of this explains why they don't pick a better phrase nowadays. It just says more than the literal meaning was intended
    – Double AA
    Mar 31, 2019 at 13:02
  • There's no evidence presented that it isn't also meant literally. אין מקרא יוצא מידי פשוטו
    – Double AA
    Apr 3, 2019 at 2:41
  • @DoubleAA that may be discussed. However, I do know that this book is one of the most commented upon book in Judaism
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Apr 3, 2019 at 2:43

Rav Daniel Staum quotes Rav Yisroel Meir Lau who beautifully answered the same question to a group of IDF soldiers, “I saw Rav Shach, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and other leaders of Klal Yisroel who confessed sins on Yom Kippur which I guarantee you they didn’t commit. They weren’t just davening for themselves – they were davening for all of Klal Yisroel. Maybe you were born in freedom, but what about the rest ofthe nation? It’s not just about you and me - we need to think of others outside Eretz Yisrael too!” - saying that they keep that text in the Haggada in Eretz Yisroel


I think this difficulty is dealt with the same way we view the tefillah of Nacheim on Tisha Bav. While Yerushalayim is technically beautiful today and not in a state of "bezuya" , without the Beis Hamikdash rebuilt it is obviously incomplete and in a state of "destruction". You may be celebrating Pesach in Israel but those words allude to Arah D'Yisrael with the Beis Hamikdash.

  • People deal with the old text of Nachem in different ways. Indeed some skip only the words that are definitely lies and leave in the ambiguous words. (Avoiding even a safek lie is a traditional reason to skip non essential additions to the Amida, per the Geonim, Rashi, and the common Ashkenazi practice.)
    – Double AA
    Apr 2, 2019 at 19:35

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