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Why do we hide the Afikoman?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Passover » Seder » Laws and Rituals | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The VIPs at the Passover Seder are the children. We come to the Seder with the seemingly impossible task of holding our children's attention for long enough to tell them the story of our liberation from Pharaoh's tyrannical regime. This isn't an easy assignment even if all your children are like the "Wise Son” -- never mind if they fall into one of the other three categories.


To solve this problem, we try to involve the children as much as possible in the Seder. Aside from encouraging them to recite the Four Questions, many people have the custom of hiding the Afikoman, or having the children hide the Afikoman. There is nothing like the promise of a good game of hide n' seek to keep the children tuned in, especially when the stakes are so high!

TAGS: Afikoman

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Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Seder
Festive meal eaten on the first two nights of the holiday of Passover (In Israel, the Seder is observed only the first night of the holiday). Seder highlights include: reading the story of the Exodus, eating Matzah and bitter herbs, and drinking four cups of wine.
Afikoman
The larger portion of the broken middle matzah on the seder plate. The afikoman is eaten towards the end of the seder. In many families, it is traditionally "stolen" by the children and "ransomed" by the parents with the promise of a gift.