At the beginning of the Seder, we break the middle matzah in two. No matter how hard we try to break it evenly, one half is always bigger than the other. One piece remains on the table to be referred to during the Seder and the other is hidden and found later towards the end of the meal.
Consider that the middle matzah as a whole represents the Jewish People – Jews living in both United States and in Israel. Think of the half that stays on the table as being representative of American Jewry, paying more attention to what is going on in front of us at home (and on the table) then to what is going on in Israel (or our hidden afikomen piece).
Interestingly, we cannot finish the Seder—the story of building our people as a nation—without bringing the other half of the afikomen matzah back to the table. We say Next Year in Jerusalem with a full heart only once we connect ourselves as American Jews with our other half those Jews living in Israel.
As members of Hadassah, we explore our relationship with Israel everyday through Hadassah's great works. To continue your personal exploration of what it means to be an American Jew, check out our study guide One Heart Two Homes. To order, call 800-880-9455.