There are three pieces of matzah stacked on the table. We now break the middle matzah into two pieces. Our host will wrap up the larger of the pieces and, at some point between now and the end of dinner, hide it. This piece is called the afikoman, literally “dessert” in Greek. After dinner, all of us will have to hunt for the afikoman, and whoever finds it will win a prize!

We eat matzah, unleavened bread, to remind us that when the Israelites were finally freed, they fled Egypt so quickly that their bread did not have time to rise. 

Uncover and hold up the three pieces of matzah and say:

This is the bread of poverty that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat; all who are needy come and celebrate Passover with us. This year we are here; next year we will be in Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free.

While we recline and enjoy our Passover celebration, we are reminded not only of the history that we commemorate, but also of our obligation to make our world better for those still enslaved, whether in bondage or by poverty or circumstance. We are commanded to seek out those who are hungry, to share in our bread of affliction, as we seek to ensure that the story of slavery is our past, not our present or future.

Discussion Question

Unfortunately, slavery exists in many forms in our world and for each of us. How can we take these words to heart this Passover?

haggadah Section: Yachatz