Will This Night Be Different?

As Pesach approaches, I’ve been mulling over what to share in my weekly blog post, particularly thinking about the singles in our community. Yom Tov can be tough for singles, caught between family gatherings filled with well-meaning but intrusive questions and Seders with friends where they might feel out of place. My aim was to offer a message of hope that acknowledges the unique challenges singles face and to connect their experiences with the broader story of our nation’s miraculous journey to freedom.

Change of Direction

With that thought in mind, I began to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote some more. I took a deep dive through the long seder, with all its traditions and minhagim, pausing at each part and focusing on the lesson that could be learned. I wrote about the six items on the seder plate and what they symbolize, the three matzos representing three different personality types, the Ma Nishanta, and the famous question: “What is different about this night?” and I rephrased it to the question all daters ask, “Will this night (date) be different?”

I delved into the symbolism of the seder, exploring the dipping of karpas in salt water and marror in charoses, leaning like royalty, drinking four cups of wine, crying while eating marror, and breaking our teeth on matzah. Each of these elements carries a message of hope and inspiration for singles. Yet, as I finished writing this long, drawn-out megillah, something felt off. The writing was clear. The lessons on point. So, what was the issue?  And then it hit me – I was writing a message of hope for singles. They are not interested in hearing about all the stops and detours representing their shidduch journey: they want to hear about their ‘happily ever after.’

Deleting what I had worked on for days, I decided to begin at the end, fast-forwarding to the parts of the Seder that speak to the heart of what matters most to singles: the successful end to their dating journey. Sometimes, a change of direction is what is needed to get you to your destination.

This one’s for all you fabulous singles!

Finding the Afikomen: A Pursuit with a Promise

The fun tradition of searching for the afikomen during the Seder is a highlight for many. It brings smiles and excitement to all participants. For singles, think of this search as a delightful hint at your quest for finding your bashert. As we always manage to find the afikomen, hidden though it may be, you will also discover your perfect match.

This playful hunt at the Seder is not just about finding a piece of matzah; it’s about the joy and certainty that come with the search. No matter how well the afikomen is hidden each year, it’s always found. So, keep this image in mind: just as you eagerly search for and eventually find the afikomen, so too, your search for the right one will end in success. Let this fill you with optimism—your match is out there, just waiting to be discovered, and surely, your patience and persistence will be sweetly rewarded.

Welcoming Eliyahu: A Symbol of New Beginnings

Opening the door for Eliyahu Hanavi during the Seder is a powerful gesture of hope and openness to new possibilities. For singles, this act symbolizes inviting new opportunities and unexpected joys into your lives. It’s about maintaining an optimistic outlook, keeping your heart open to the potential of meeting someone special. This tradition underscores the belief that no matter the challenges faced, there’s always room for something—or someone—wonderful to enter.

As you stand at your doorway, opening it wide, think of it as a metaphor for opening your life to new chapters. This moment is a chance to reset expectations and renew your hopes, particularly if past experiences have been disheartening. By welcoming Eliyahu, you’re following a beautiful tradition and setting the stage for personal revelations and joys that this year might bring. It’s a reminder to stay receptive and ready because the next knock might just bring a delightful surprise that could enrich your life in ways you never anticipated.

Cranking Up the Hallel Tunes

After implementing our open-door policy, we gather again around the table to sing Hallel, the ultimate gratitude playlist. This tradition is a powerful expression of thanks, reminding us of the many daily blessings that enrich our lives. Even though you might not have found Mr. or Ms. Right, there’s an abundance of aspects in life that are indeed going well. Hallel offers us the opportunity to acknowledge these joys and celebrate the awesome parts of life.

When we sing Hallel, we are essentially extending our gratitude to Hashem. For many, it seems easier to focus on the absence of things in their lives rather than the good that they have. However, Hallel shifts our perspective, encouraging us to count our blessings and appreciate the good around us. It’s a time to reflect on what we have, not on what’s missing, allowing us to embrace and cherish the positive aspects of our lives.

L’shana Haba B’Yerushalayim – Keeping Hope Alive!

We always finish our Seder by saying, “Next year in Yerushalayim.” It’s a hopeful way to end, thinking about the future. But this year, think about it a little differently. If you’re single and hoping to find your special someone, take this moment to really believe that this can be your year. Tell yourself: “This year, things will change. This year, I’ll meet the right person. This year, my search for love will have a happy ending.”

“Next Year in Yerushalayim” isn’t just a wish—it’s like making a promise to yourself. Believe that this year will bring you personal happiness and that your shidduch journey will be complete. So, when you say those words, imagine yourself not just in a new place but a new part of your life where you are happy and connected.

Embracing Hope and Optimism

Being single can be challenging, especially during Yom Tov. But Pesach gives us hope and optimism. This Pesach, keep your spirits up! Sure, your journey might have ups and downs but think about the incredible destination waiting for you. So, why not enjoy the ride? Celebrate where you’re at right now, lean on your friends and family, and open your heart to the little joys that pop up every day. Remember, Pesach isn’t just about looking back at the miracles from long ago—it’s also about looking forward to the good stuff that’s still to come. Every tough step, every challenge, and all those times you’ve had to wait? They’re all part of the journey leading to something great. Here’s to finding joy and freedom in the journey and a wonderful Pesach ahead!

!לשנה הבא בירושלים

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