It didn't necessarily go through the order of the seder, but it talked about the origin of each of those events, and how much of it goes back to the Greek occupation of what's now Israel, and why there's a pillow, and why they recline, and what the Afikoman
once was and what it became.
Here are the basics in case you find yourself eating bitter herbs or on a quest for the Afikoman
I also remember this because, among other things, those computer club meetings taught us how to disassemble and reassemble our machines, a skill for which I got in trouble after hiding the Afikoman
inside the computer one Pesach.
They ask the questions with which the celebration starts and their search for the hidden matzo, the afikoman
, brings it to a close.
In 2006, this sacrifice is remembered only in the form of the Afikoman
, the piece of matzah snatched and hidden by children during the Pesach Seder meal, by the small roasted shank-bone on the Seder plate, and by prayers and study.
And still, yes still, her palate perseveres, preserving a taste of afikoman
as if it were the taste of beginning.
Literally, this means that no afikoman
(dessert) should follow the Paschal lamb.
It is analogous to the afikoman
, the dessert that the Mishnah forbids Jews to eat after eating the Passover offering, saying [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], eyn maftirin, do not offer for departure, an afikoman
after the Passover (Mishnah Pesahim 10: 8).
I am thinking of etrogs (citrons used on Sukkot) turned into pomanders (to be smelled at the end of the Sabbath in the Havdallah ceremony) and pieces of afikoman
(the matzoh that is hidden and then found at the Passover seder) hung over doors as amulets to increase one's blessing.
I never got that much money for finding the afikoman
when I was a kid.
In Athenaeus' Deipnosophistai, in particular, we find the practice of asking questions about dietetic problems and riddles, as in the Haggadah of Passover; we find something like haroset; there is a discussion of the usefulness of lettuce (eaten at the Seder as bitter herbs); there are three cups of wine (in contrast to the Seder's four); and the meal concludes (as does the Seder meal) with an afikoman
(a good Greek word, which apparently has something to do with the komos ["revelry"] at a banquet).
Perhaps the power of the haggadah has to do with the way Passover is celebrated at home, rather than in synagogue; perhaps it comes from the way children are enlisted in the Seder early on, with important roles like reciting the Four Questions and finding the afikoman