Afikoman Message

At the Seder we read about the four sons and learn how to relate to each of them. When the wise son asks us to explain the laws and customs of Passover, we respond by teaching him the laws beginning with the regulations relating to the Afikomen. Out of all the fundamental laws relating to Passover, why do we begin with a relatively minor one?

The word Afikomen is derived from the Greek word meaning dessert. The reason for this is because the Afikomen represents the actual Pascal lamb, which was eaten after the main meal on a full stomach; dessert. We begin our answer to the wise son with dessert, with something sweet to entice him to continue studying and asking questions. The Haggadah is teaching us that the way to teach someone about Judaism is by showing them its sweetness and beauty. There will be plenty of time later to teach the more difficult laws and regulations. Starting off with those will discourage the seeker and possibly chase him away. Only with sweetness can we successfully satisfy the hunger of those searching for their heritage, and increase their appetite for more Torah.

As we conduct our own seders and present our beautiful heritage to our children and guests, let’s make sure that we highlight the sweetness and joy of the holiday (and Torah) instead of focusing on the minor details that can often appear as mundane and uninspiring.

We say Chag Kasher V’Sameach. Let’s be sure that we are as diligent and careful with the Simcha, as we are with the Kashrut.

Chag Kasher V’Sameach!

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