Hiding the Afikoman

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My informant was my father, 59 year old man that lives in of Malibu, CA. Being a Jewish man, he is very familiar with the traditions of his religion. He explained the tradition of hiding the afikoman at a Seder.

Collector: “Do you have an important tradition that you celebrate?”

Informant: “Yes, hiding the afikoman on passover every year is something that I have done my whole life”

Collector: “What is the afikoman?”

Informant: “Basically, on passover, we have three pieces of matzah bread and take the middle of the three matzahs and split it into two. The larger half, known as the afikoman, is wrapped in a cloth, set aside, and then hidden somewhere in the vicinity”

Collector: “What is the purpose of this?”

Informant: “Well, it is basically so we don’t get that specific matzah, which is meant to be eaten at the end of the Seder, mixed up with the other two matzahs. Also, we put it in a cloth to remind us of how the Jews carried the matzah out of Egypt in a hurry before the dough could rise… and it makes it fun for the kids to run around the house looking for matzah then giving them silver dollars or a couple bucks or something”

I was personally connected to this learning because like my father, I am Jewish and celebrate passover with him, yet I did not truly know what the purpose of hiding the Matzah was or that it was even called the afikoman. This was particularly interesting for me because it now allows me to gain a further understanding of the traditions of my religion. This finding has inspired me to gain more knowledge about the Jewish traditions that I celebrate so I don’t just blindly take part in religious activity, but actually know what and why I am celebrating.