Purim, day of pandemonium, reigns supreme, with its costumes and its cookies and its invitations for mischief, followed closely by Hanukkah and its eight crazy nights and Passover, purveyor of the afikoman
and its bounties.
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.
If the Wise Son, says Sofer, wants to study Torah just for the purpose of knowing what he needs to know to observe the commandments and then wants to go on to "hokhmah Yevanit" (secular studies), the father's rejoinder to the son must be, "Ein maftirim ahar ha-Pesach afikoman
." 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.
They will drink wine, ask questions, search for the Afikoman
, and recite the obligation to see themselves as if they personally had come out of Egypt.
How do you pay off the child who steals the Afikoman
? Gift, 54%; Money, 26%; Do not know/undecided, 20%.