As the taste of Pesach still lingers, some thoughts tumble through my head. At the Seder, many are careful to eat the Afikomen prior to chatzos (midnight). Meeting this deadline, though, inevitably requires rushing on the very night that we are supposed to enjoy the freedom of kings. How to explain this minhag, then?
Perhaps the lesson is as follows: Every detail of the Seder is designed to remind us of Pesach 2448. We are supposed to relive the freedom our ancestors experienced when they left Egypt. And they experienced “chipazon” – haste. This haste was not just – or even mainly – a rushing from, but a rushing to. We couldn’t wait to leave Egypt and fulfill our purpose as a nation. We were rushing from Egypt but we were also rushing to Mount Sinai and the Land of Israel where we could fulfill our divine destiny.
When one rushes from something, one often feels anxious. But when one excitedly rushes to a goal, one often feels an inner sense of peace and excitement. We couldn’t wait to fulfill our destiny 3,300 years ago and we are supposed to have this same excited feeling today.
What is our destiny? Tzafon. Tzafon is when we eat the Afikoman, but the word itself means “cryptic, the encoded,” possibly alluding to the mystery of redemption – both personal and national, toward which we all work.
Yes, Pesach is over, but the lessons of this chag should remain with us throughout the year.