Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hunting for Matzoh

As I kid, I always found myself really jealous of my Christian friends over Easter weekend. They got to decorate eggs, have egg hunts, and get Easter baskets filled with candy. I remember walking through the department stores, seeing all the pretty Easter dresses on display and wanting one so badly for myself. Passover always felt, to me, like the Jewish “Easter equivalent” (because it’s around the same time of year), but as a kid, I felt like I was missing out.

Every year for Passover we went to a sedar at my parents’ friends house. (I saw it as a dinner without bread and with the always-disgusting gelatinous gefilte fish, and I hated having to go.) But after the Hebrew and the Passover rituals and the dinner, there was one part of the night that I remember as fun. Before we arrived for dinner, the people hosting the dinner would hide the Afikoman, which was basically a piece of Matzoh wrapped up in a towel. Then, after dinner, all the kids would turn the house upside down searching for it. Whoever found the Afikoman would get a prize. I know there is probably some religious significance to this, but at this point in my life, I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is.

But finding the Afikoman is what all the kids lived for on Passover. As soon as we arrived for the sedar, we would start plotting out where to look, and announce who was calling dibs on which rooms or which hiding spots. Sadly, I only won once. My sister, on the other hand, became the world-reknowned Afikoman champion, winning almost every year.

Okay, okay. So maybe we didn’t get to frolic out in the fresh spring air in our pretty flowered dresses, putting delicate pastel eggs in a basket. But we did, at least, manage to have our own fun, scouring the house for a piece of Matzoh.


Maureen Lipinski said...

Don't be jealous--see my post on freezing to death at Easter. And the hidden eggs? Would most likely go unfound, rot, and attract wild animals.

And I LOVE matzo! Two of my college roommates are Jewish and I would always steal their "Jewish crackers."

Lisa Patton said...

Ditto on the matza!! Love it. Happy Passover, Jill!

Lesley Livingston said...

Sounds like fun! And less messy than the candy eggs we would hunt - some of which would only be found after melting into little piles of chocolately tin-foil down the back of the couch!