Drama At The Seder
While the basic text of the Haggadah and format of the Seder is the same around the world, each community has its own unique customs. One such custom that is pervasive throughout the Sephardi communities is to dramatize the Exodus. Generally this takes place immediately following Yachatz, the breaking of the middle matzah, or after Ha Lachma Anya, the first paragraph of the Maggid section.
The basic script for this dramatization is as follows:
Person holding the afikomen (larger half of the broken matzah) says: “Their remaining possessions tied up in their bags on their shoulders and the children of Israel did as Moses commanded.”
Other Seder Participants: “From where are you coming?”
Afikomen holder: “From Egypt.”
Participants: “Where are you going?”
Afikomen holder: “To Jerusalem.”
Participants: “What are your supplies?”
Afikomen holder: “Matzah and Maror.”
This ceremony varies not only as to when it is said, but also who says it (sometimes only the leader, sometimes one child gets up and knocks on the door before the dialogue begins, and sometimes each participant of the Seder holds the afikomen in turn), and how the afikomen is wrapped and held (in a napkin or a bag, held on the right shoulder or thrown over the shoulder).
In the Yemenite community, there is a slightly different re-enacting of the Exodus. The seder leader rises, throws the afikomen bag over his shoulder like a knapsack and circles the table while leaning on a cane. As he walks about the room, the leader tells the other participants about his experiences and the miracles he witnessed as he came from Egypt.
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