When an aliyah dream that has been nurtured for more than 50 years finally comes true, it calls for a celebration unlike any other. Rabbi Aharon and Batsheva Fine made aliyah from Canada on August 13, fulfilling a life-long dream.
They were lovingly greeted by their daughter Shira, along with her family and friends. The emotion in these pictures speaks for itself.
Yoel Keren, a friend who has grown particularly close to the Fines during their visits to their daughter and her family over the past five years, wanted to honor the Fines’ aliyah in a special way.
Inspired by the thought that, if Hashem requests that we celebrate the exodus from Egypt each year at Pesach time, surely He will delight in our celebration of the final exodus from the lands of our dispersal to the Land of Israel, Yoel invented The Aliyah Seder.
|Yoel (in white) leading The Aliyah Seder.|
The Aliyah Seder was drafted on something of a whim, but the emotional reaction around the table was so compelling, Yoel knew he was on to something.
The Aliyah Seder consists of 4 cups and a series of verses from Tanach. The Aliyah Seder opens with the prophesy in Yermiyahu 16 about the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, which serves as a preamble to the kiddush and shehechiyanu.
14: Therefore, behold days are coming, says the Lord, and it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,”
15: But, “As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the northland and from all the lands where He had driven them, “and I will restore them to their land that I gave to their forefathers.”
The text continues with verses from Tanach that relate to Hashem’s promises of redemption, the land, and our return to Eretz Yisrael, each accompanied by an additional cup.
Yoel Keren gave me permission to share the text of The Aliyah Seder Hagaddah in the hope that the practice spreads. About his text, he said, “I really hope to see it develop and for others to create their own versions.”
If you are already privileged to live here, you can use The Aliyah Seder Hagaddah to create a meaningful, private welcome for family and friends as they return Home. The Aliyah Seder Hagaddah can also be used by synagogues and communities to welcome the new olim among them. And it is equally appropriate to mark the annual anniversary of one’s own aliyah.
For a .pdf version of The Aliyah Seder Hagaddah, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.