There are three pieces of matzah stacked on the table. In a moment, we will break the middle matzah into two pieces and, at some point between now and the end of dinner, hide it. This piece is called the afikomen, literally “dessert” in Greek. After dinner, our younger guests will have to hunt for the afikomen in the portion of the seder called the Tzatoon.

A little later on we will discuss the symbolic significance of the matzah in a little more detail. For now, let us simply note that we eat matzah in memory of the quick flight of our ancestors from Egypt, who, when the word of their freedom came, took whatever dough they had and ran with it before it had the chance to rise, leaving it looking something like matzah.

Uncover and hold up the three pieces of matzah; let us all say together:


הא לחמא עניא די אכלו אבהתנא בארעא דמצרים. כל דכפין ייתי ויכל. כל דצריך ייתי ויפסח. השתא הכא. לשנה הבאה בארעא דישראל. השתא עבדי. לשנה הבאה בני חורין

Ha lachma anya di achalu avahatana b'ara d'Mitzrayim. Kal dichfin yeitei v'yeichul. Kal ditzrich yeitei v'yifsach. Hashata hacha, l'shanah haba'ah b'ara d'Yisrael. Hashata avdei. L'shana haba'ah b'nei chorin.

This is the bread of poverty and persecution that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry, come and eat; let all who are in need, come and share the Pesach meal. This year we are still here; next year in the land of freedom. This year we are still slave; next year free people."

haggadah Section: Yachatz