How often do we think about the meaning of yachatz? We merely break the middle matzah and hide one-half of it for the children to find and collect a reward at the end of the Seder.

Normally when we break bread we say a prayer. Yet, when we break the middle matzah….no prayer. How can that be? We Jews have prayers for everything we do. So what does the breaking of the matzah into two pieces symbolize?

On Passover, we celebrate freedom. But, to reach freedom, the Jewish slaves had to escape from Egypt and Pharoah’s army. Miraculously, the Red Sea split and the Jews were able to cross without harm. Yet Pharoah’s army was swallowed alive. Is splitting the matzah a symbol of the splitting of the Red Sea?

Or, is this silent and reflective act of the breaking of the matzah a symbol for our incompleteness? We have prayers to be finished and promises to be redeemed. We hide part of the broken matzah, hoping it will be found at the end of the Seder, and pray that we will ultimately know ourselves. We continue to discover what makes us whole. As we hide the larger broken part of the matzah we recognize that more is hidden to us than revealed. With many generations before us and with each other here, our search for our future presses on. And, the revelation of our true selves is yet to come.

haggadah Section: Yachatz
Source: Jan Weiner