Afikoman with a twist

Background: Informant is a 19 year old, Jewish American/Argentinian college student. They are from the Chicago area but now live in Los Angeles. The informant has a family tradition during the holiday of passover that inverts the common tradition of many other Jewish people. 

Informant: So, during passover (the Jewish holiday), there’s a tradition that most families do where the parents have to hide the Afikoman which is a little piece of matzah, an the kids have to find it and whichever kid finds it gets a special prize. But in my family we do the opposite. So, the kids have to hide the Afikoman and it’s my dad’s job to go look for it and find it. But the tradition and the joke is that he doesn’t get up from the Seder table, he sits in his chair when it’s time to go look for it and bribes us with money to tell him where it is. And that’s the kids prize it’s not like, you get a prize for finding it; you get a prize for revealing to him where it is. So for example he’ll be like, “5 dollars.” And we’re like, no that’s not enough cause’ it’s a really good hiding place. And he’s like, “10 dollars.” And then we always, like, talk him up and negotiate to like, 25 bucks. And this is without him getting up from the table to even look for it. 

Reflection: This story came from the informants family flipping a traditional Jewish tradition on it’s head. In Jewish tradition, looking for the Afikoman is something that kids do in the ages before 13, so having the parent who is an adult search is a funny twist on it. Beyond that, there is an aspect of the tradition that is capitalistic as the kids are putting monetary value on the hiding place of the matzah, focusing on how they can bargain with the adult to receive the most money. This reflects an American twist on a Jewish tradition, as it adds American values of capital and money into Jewish culture.