There are three pieces of matzah stacked on the table. Uncover and hold up the three pieces of matzah and say: This is the bread of poverty which the Jews ate in the land of Egypt.

Of course, there are many people today who still live in poverty and hunger, over 900 million people around the world face hunger because they do not have enough to eat. We see many of these people every day as we walk throughout the city. Let us think about how we treat these people, how would we want to be treated if we were hungry, if we could not afford food or shelter.

As we sit at our Seder and contemplate the Jewish people’s transition from slavery to freedom, let us hope for a time when all who are hungry will eat as free people:

Let all people gain autonomy over their sources of sustenance.

Let local farms flourish and local economies strengthen.

Let exploitation of natural resources cease so that the land may nourish its inhabitants.

Let communities bolster themselves against the destruction wrought by flood and drought.

Let our world leaders recognize food as a basic human right and implement policies and programs that put an end to world hunger.

The Passover Seder inspires us to take action and commit ourselves to working toward these and other sustainable changes. This year, hunger and malnutrition are still the greatest risks to good health around the world. Next year, may the bread of affliction be simply a symbol, and may all people enjoy the bread of plenty, the bread of freedom. What actions can we take to end poverty and homelessness? What can we do to help ensure all people of New York, all people in the world never have to go hungry?

We now break the middle matzah into two pieces, we wrap up the larger of the pieces and, at some point between now and end of dinner it will be hidden. This piece is called the afikomen, literally "dessert." After dinner, the children will hunt for the afikomen.


haggadah Section: Yachatz
Source: Adapted from American Jewish World Service Seder Reading