Thursday, March 22, 2007

Passover- Eating The Afikoman on Pesach Night

Passover- Eating The Afikoman on Pesach Night

The Afikoman is at the end of the Seder, which is the last thing that one eats. Maran holds that the amount of Matzah one has to eat is one Kezayit. One Kezayit for Afikoman. There are Machmirim (very strict people) that eat 2 Kezetim because the Afikoman we eat is to commemorate Korban Pesach, and the law in the olden days was that with Korban Pesach they ate a slice of Matzah. So some eat one Kezayit Afikoman Zecher LiKorban Pesach (to remember Korban Pesach,) and they eat another Kezayit to commemorate the Matzah that was eaten with it. Therefore if a person has it within him to eat 2 Kezetim at that point, then such is fine. But if one can not eat 2 Kezetim, for he is over stuffed or unable to eat more, then eating just one Kezayit would be OK.

If a person did not lean while eating the Afikoman, Lechatchila he has to do it over again. Unless one can not lean due to stiffness or if it would be considered a repulsive eating if he were to eat again, then he can rely on the opinions that say that if he didn’t lean it is OK.

Ladies are also obligated in the eating of the Afikoman and the leaning as well.

The Matzah Afikoman must be eaten within 4 to 7 minutes.

It is clear that the Afikoman will not be enough for full distribution around the table, so therefore the Ba’al Habayit is permitted to take as he needs from the box. Here in this case just like the Motzi Matzah, the Baal Habayit has to be aware of the amounts and make sure he gives everybody around the table at least a Kezayit. For those who want 2 Kezetim he provides them.

So it comes out that the most Matzah which a person is required to eat on the night of Pesach is 5 Kezetim. Two for Motzi Matzah, which is one for the Korech which we did not discuss in today’s or yesterday’s Halacha, and 2 for the Afikoman. Minimally if he wants to drop off the last Kezayit of the Afikoman and instead of eating 2 Kezetim one may be allowed to eat just one Kezayit.

After the Afikoman, it should be pointed out that there is no more eating. Desert is done on the night of Peach before the Afikoman. As the Hagadah teaches us ‘En Maftirim Achar HaPesach Afikoman'. The Halacha also teaches us that if one wants to have a glass of water he may, as the Poskim say water is legal. Water is not from the drinks that they were restricting. Furthermore if a person is planning on staying up a little longer to read the Hagadah again and say some Divre Troah, he would then be allowed to even sip a cup of coffee or a cup of tea. But beyond the coffee and tea, one would not be allowed to have anything. One can not have any foods or any other type of drinks besides the two cups that you are going to drink during the Seder.

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