Break the Matzah

Haggadah Section: Yachatz

Three matzot are stacked on the seder table; at this stage, the middle matzah of the three is broken in half. The larger piece is hidden somewhere in the house. Later, the children get to search for it, and whoever finds it gets a prize. Much of the Seder is about engaging children to ask questions - to learn the stories and be curious. This part simply keeps them awake and excited to search for the hidden matzah at the end of the long night. The hidden broken piece is called the Afikoman, which will be later eaten as the dessert. Why would we eat a broken matzah as our dessert? To represent that although we have become free, we must still remember the feeling of oppression -- and hope for full freedom and redemption to come.


Many Sepharadi/Arabic Jewish communities practice the tradition of Mish’arotam where each person gets a chance to personally act out leaving Egypt. They play out the scene & say:

Misharotam ṣerourot BeSimlotam ʿal Shikhmam. U’ḇenei Yisra’el ʿasou Kiḏḇar Moshe

All that remained was bundled in their clothing on their backs, and the children of Israel did as Moshe said

Each person takes a turn placing the bag of matzah over their shoulder. They are asked questions in Arabic which they respond in Hebrew:

MinWen Jaye? Where are you coming from?

MiMiṣrayim -- From Egypt!

LaWeyin Rayeḥ? Where are you going?

LeYerushalayim -- To Jerusalem!

Ishu zawatak? What are you carrying?

Matzah u Maror -- Matzah and Bitter Herbs

This moment allows each person to place themselves back in time and replay a scene: The Jews are wandering the desert, they come upon some locals. The locals all speak Arabic but the Jews are speaking Hebrew, the language that they kept through generations of enslavement. It’s clear from the exchange that both groups can understand each other, but the Jews here choose to exert their Judaism proudly, for perhaps the first time in their lives, because they are free.

In many families, this tradition is also time to have fun and get creative. People will often make up their own crazy or funny answers to the questions while going around the table. Let’s try this out and come up with our own responses to learn about each other.

At each table, in turn, each guest should answer the following questions:

MinWen Jaye? Where are you coming from?

LaWeyin Rayeḥ? Where are you going/What is your hope?

Ishu Zawatak? What do you carry with you?

Inspired to create
your own Haggadah?

Make your own Haggadah and share with other Seder lovers around the world

Have an idea
for a clip?

People like you bring their creativity to when they share their ideas in a clip

Support Us
with your donation

Help us build moments of meaning and connection through
home-based Jewish rituals.


contributor image
Esther Kustanowitz
4 Haggadahs44 Clips
contributor image
JQ International
1 Haggadah40 Clips
contributor image
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
5 Haggadahs109 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah13 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah78 Clips
contributor image
Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
1 Haggadah36 Clips
contributor image
American Jewish World Service
1 Haggadah44 Clips
contributor image
3 Haggadahs57 Clips
contributor image
Repair the World
12 Clips
contributor image
5 Haggadahs48 Clips
contributor image
Be'chol Lashon
2 Haggadahs27 Clips
contributor image
PJ Library
1 Haggadah17 Clips
contributor image
Jewish World Watch
3 Haggadahs42 Clips
contributor image
Secular Synagogue
10 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah9 Clips
contributor image
The Blue Dove Foundation
20 Clips
contributor image
24 Clips
contributor image
Jewish Emergent Network
1 Haggadah22 Clips

Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.

Haggadot by Recustom, is a free resource for all backgrounds and experiences. Consider making a donation to help support the continuation of this free platform.

Copyright © 2024 Custom and Craft Jewish Rituals Inc, dba Recustom, dba
All Rights Reserved. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. EIN: 82-4765805.