Half a Matzah and a Broken World

Is half a matzah as good as a whole?

Not if one half stands for the body

And the other half stands for the soul.

The allure of the Passover seder from ancient times to the present has been its symbols and symbolic rites.  At the Passover seder the whole matzah symbolizes the two components of human life, body and soul, that should function together in an integrated way.  But in our world they are often dysfunctional. This dysfunction is symbolized at the seder by the rite of yahatz. We break the middle matzah on the seder plate. We wrap the larger piece in a napkin and set it aside to be eaten after the meal as afikomen, the after-meal desert.  In the order of the seder in the Passover Haggadah, the eating of the afikomen is called Tzafun, the hidden, i.e., the broken matzah in the napkin.

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