Project Genesis

Hiding the Afikomen

Why do whe hide part of the Matzah during the Seder?

Thank you for your question. There are many answers given for this custom, ranging from the practical to the esoteric. The Artscroll Hagadah gives the following reasons:

1. We wrap it to re-enact the way that the Sons of Israel carried the dough out of Egypt. Many have the custom to wrap it and put it over their shoulder.

2. Hiding the Afikomen symbolizes that the Exodus was only the beginning of the process of redemption, part of it is still hidden.

We must realize that many of the customs are geared towards keeping the children awake for the re-telling of the story of our Exodus, which is the primary Mitzvah (commandment) of the evening. Consequently, the custom has developed that after being “hidden” the children attempt to find it, or sometimes the father allows the children to hide it and he attempts to find it.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler

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