- The Blessing
Concluding the Seder (Acceptance):
Having carried out the Seder service properly, we have confidence that it has been well received by Avinu Shebashamayim (our heavenly Father). We then put down our Haggadahs and all shout out, “Leshanah haba’ah bi-yerushalayim,” Next year in Jerusalem.”
Conclusion of the Seder: The Seder Leader calls out Nirtzah. The Passover Seder is now complete. “Next year in Jerusalem.” It is our hope that one day soon we will enjoy fellowship together with the Messiah himself in His coming kingdom. Now is the time when we spend the rest of the evening singing beautiful Seder songs and enjoying each other’s company. Then when we are ready to depart, we say to one another:
“May Adonai Elohei Yisrael (the God of Israel) bless you, keep you, and shine His Face upon you.” Amen
והמשכלים יזהרו כזוהר הרקיע ומצדיקי הרבים ככוכבים לעולם ועד׃
“And the wise shall shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
אז יזהירו הצדיקים כשמש בממלכת אביהם. מי שאזנים לו, שישמע!פ
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father!”
We learn from the prophet Zephaniah (3:17 צפניה) that the source of this beautiful blessing is Avinu Shebashamayim (our heavenly Father). It is not the blessing of the high priest that we receive here. The high priest (אהרון-Aaron: the Light-bringer) is imparting to us the blessing of God our Father.
First He stoops down beneath us (His children) and then He lifts us up. He lifts us up so that our face will directly face His smiling Face that shines brighter in its glory than the sun. Then He manifests His glorious Name upon us.
Our heavenly Father is directly imparting to us His own loving Presence, character, and virtue. This Abba Avinu does by singing over us His own personal blessing:
יברכך ה’ וישמרך׃
Yevarechecha Adonai ve’yishmerecha.
Adonai bless and keep you, place a hedge around you, and keep you safe.
יאר ה’ פניו אליך ויחנך׃
Ya’er Adonai panaiv elecha vi’chuneka.
The Face of Adonai shine on you and illuminate you [that your face will shine as bright as the sun].
ישא ה’ פניו אליך וישם לך שלום׃
Yissa Adonai panaiv elecha ve’yasem lecha shalom.
Adonai lift you up to [face] His Face and give to you [the] Shalom [of His Presence]. Amen.