DIRECTIONS: Take the middle matzah and break it into two, one piece larger than the other.

The larger piece is set aside to serve as Afikoman. This is traditionally hidden, by the leader of the Seder for the children to “steal” or “find” and then ransom for a something at the end of the Seder.

The smaller piece is put back, between the two matzot. This smaller piece, along with the top matzah is what will be used for the “Motzi-Matzah” and “Korech”


I will now break the middle matzah and hide one half for the Afikoman. Children, watch closely! After the meal, you'll have a chance to find the Afikoman which we will all share for our ritual dessert. We can't complete the seder without it! This reminds us that long ago the special gifts brought to the holy Temple in Jerusalem were shared. No matter where people live, sharing bread is a way of saying, "Your are my friend." It is also a way of sharing what we have with others.


The Pesach story begins in a broken world, amidst slavery and oppression. The sound of the breaking of the matzah sends us into that fractured existence, only to become whole again when we find the broken half, the Afikoman, at the end of the Seder. We are free, but we remember when we were slaves. We are whole, but we bring to mind those who are broken. The middle matzah is broken, but it is the larger part which is hidden. Because the future will be greater than the past, and tomorrow’s Passover nobler than yesterday’s exodus. The prospects for the dreamed future are overwhelming to the point of making us mute. So it is in silence, without blessing, that we break and hide the matzah and long for its recovery and our redemption.


Wrapping the matzah in the cover reminds us of our ancestors on their way out of Mitzrayim who wrapped up the dough before it had a chance to rise and carried it with their kneading troughs on their shoulders. It also reminds us that if you are poor, you do not know where your next meal is coming from and, therefore, do not eat everything that is in front of you. You hide a bit of food, a crust of bread, to make sure you won't starve after this meal is over.

haggadah Section: Yachatz
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