Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stealing the afikoman


In our previous post, we explained that we break the matzah at Yachatz. At many of our seder tables, this is immediately followed by an attempt of the children to steal the afikoman and hide it. What is the source for this?

Some suggest that this comes from the Talmudic statement (Pesachim 109a), "They grab the matzah on the night of Pesach, so that the children will not sleep." However, Rashi there says this refers to lifting the seder plate for all to see, and Rashbam there comments that it is actually the act of removing the matzah so that they children will not eat too much and fall asleep.

The grandson of the Chatam Sofer cites his grandfather as noting that Shemot 11:7 says that no dogs barked at the Jews when we left Egypt. A city in which dogs do not bark will have many thieves!

The likely source, though, is the Rambam's statement that we give children candy and nuts at the seder, and move the table away before they eat, and grab things from one hand to another, and perform more such practices, to keep the attention of the children.(Maimonides Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Chametz uMatzah 7:3)

Have a great day,

1 comment:

  1. But if you do have dogs, make sure the kids don't hide the afiqoman in a place where the dog can steal it!