Sunday, September 18, 2011

An Example of Food Being Taken to Represent Letters of the Alphabet

In the Sephardic Passover the middle matza is broken (like a dalet and a vav) before reciting the Haggadah, because the recital is to be over a matza suitable for the obligation of Haggadah, namely lechem oni (bread of poverty) - which is a broken piece. Lechem oni means "bread of poverty", but is also interpreted as "lechem she'onim alav” - the bread over which we answer (discuss; recite) many things. Combining both meanings, then, the Haggadah is to be said over matza, and in particular a matza, the afikomen, which is noticeably "bread of poverty", i.e., a broken piece of matza.

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