Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday's Matza Crumbs

Because of the proximity to Pesach, R' Frand did not speak on the parsha after he finished the halachic portion of the shiur this evening and instead spoke on the Haggadah. As such, I have blogged of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the Haggadah this evening. Those desiring to see prior R' Frand vorts on Parshas Metzorah can search the blog for prior posts on Metzorah. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce these thoughts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand. 

R' Frand began the vort by noting that right before the Maggid portion of the seder, we break the middle matza as Yachatz. A portion of the matza is left in the matza stack, while the other portion is reserved as the afikoman. R' Frand quoted the Chassam Sofer, who asked why we do Yachatz? 

He answered that the seder is an experience which transforms us from slaves to free men. A slave will hoard food because he is afraid that there will not be any food to eat tomorrow. As we begin the seder, we have the slave's mentality, so we break the matza and hide some to eat later. Similarly, slaves will steal items because they need them to survive. 

The Chassam Sofer explains that this is the reason that we encourage the children to hunt for and steal the afikoman. 

As the Jews began their transformation from slave nation to free men while they traveled in the desert, Hashem gave the Jews manna to eat. The manna fell every day (except Shabbos) and the Jews would gather what they needed each day and no more. If more manna than the person needed was collected, it would rot. But the question is why? Couldn't the manna fall once a week or once a month? 

R' Frand answered that the reason that the manna fell every day is that Hashem was trying to teach the Jews that they were no longer slaves and they did not need to hoard food out of fear that there would be nothing to eat tomorrow. 

When we reach the tzafun stage of the seder and ask the children to return the afikoman so that it can be eaten, we demonstrate that we are now free men and have learned that food does not need to be hoarded. This is the meaning of the word afikoman - bring the manna! 

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