Three pieces of unleavened bread represent the food that the Israelites took with them when they fled Egypt. They did not have time to let their bread rise and matzah has become a symbolic food eaten during the entire week of Passover in remembrance of our ancestors.
The breaking of bread together stands for community. On Passover we say that all who are hungry may come and eat. This embodies the tradition of hospitality that dates back to the days of Sarah, whose tent was always open to the stranger and traveler. It is also a symbol of hope. In a world where there are poor and hungry, we pray that the day will come when all will have bread and a table at which to share it.
The middle piece of matzah is broken and the larger half is the Afikomen, which is hidden for the children to find after dinner.
(everyone takes a piece of matzah)
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the Earth.
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