"Tzafun" means "hidden." When we hunt for the afikomen we discover something that is hidden, sometimes in plain sight. The classical interpretation is that by leaving the tzafun until late in the seder, the children will be incented to pay attention. Once found, we loosely wrap the matzah to remind us that we packed in haste.
As adults, however, tzafun tells us to listen more carefully to Uncle Ziemel and remember the search - what was hidden and now discovered? What -isms are hidden - racism, sexism, ageism, classism -- and best left behind as we are spiritually redeemed from Egypt?
In Jane Leavy's book "Last Boy," her biography of Yankees star and her childhood hero Mickey Mantle, she distinguishes memory and memorabilia. "Memorabilia is a goal, a get...memory is a process, albeit a faulty one." When we are focused on the memorabilia, the next object, we are enslaved to the pursuit of things. The Afikomen is a literal "get", but it's a B plot to the main story that is the result of superimposing thousands of years of memories.
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