Tzafun, which literally means “hidden,” is the part of the Seder where we seek what is not obvious, when we look for something other than what is in front of our faces. It is also when we return to that which was broken earlier in the evening and make it meaningful. In this way, Tzafun serves as the organizing principle of the second half of our Seder, where we ask ourselves what world we want to see, when we commit ourselves to making our vision real.
Searching and finding the matzoh is a tradition for the children to search for and find the afikomen, and when they do, they are given a reward by the adults. The act of leaving the table and searching for the matzoh represents the Israelites coming out of Egypt and searching for freedom; the finding of the afikomen in exchange for a prize represents finding redemption and, in exchange, receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Searching for the afikomen is also a very spiritual part of the Seder. In contrast with the strict order of the preparation and dinner, we can go and search for the afikomen without any rules or regulations. (Well, some rules: no tipping furniture, going in bedrooms or breaking anything!) It is up to us as individuals -- or a group -- to find the afikomen, relying only on our instincts and faith that we will achieve our goal.
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