The Afflicted Matzoh

There are three matzot in this pile,
One on top of the other on top of the other.
The top matza and the bottom Matza are,
perhaps,
A Pesach reminder
Of the two loaves of challah we would eat on Shabbat
(But not tonight!)
Which are themselves perhaps a reminder
Of the two portions of manna
The former slaves received  in the desert
From God
Every Friday before Shabbat.
That’s the top and the bottom
But the middle matza?
Ah
That’s the Afflicted Matza.
The reminder of the unleavened bread
We ate as we fled slavery.

This Afflicted Matza,
We break it in half
To separate ourselves,
First from joy
So we don’t forget our pain
So we don’t forget the pain of others.
All this pain
Lives in this first half of the Afflicted Matza
And we will eat this first half now
So that we do not forget that we were slaves,
So that we do not enslave others.
And we are obligated to share those memories.
But–
With the second half of the Afflicted Matza,
Called, the Afikomen,
We break away from the pain
So that we don’t forget the what can follow the sorrow:
The times we enjoyed our lives
The moments when we changed things for the better.
And we are obligated to share those memories, too.
Then, after we have told our stories
And after we have eaten our meal
We search for that happiness.
And we always find it,
Every year,
The Afikomen,
And everyone has a taste
So we don’t forget how good it is to be alive

And free.

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