Monday, April 02, 2018

Where Does the Afikoman Come From?

See this article in Haaretz for some theories.  (Um, never mind--just do an internet search for "origin of afikoman.")

If I could remember where I read this, I'd be happy to link it, but one theory is that the Greek tradition of "afikoman," or after-dinner partying, while well-known to the rabbis of Palestine, was totally unknown to the rabbis of Babylonia, who misinterpreted "afikoman" as referring to a food.  This (from the Haaretz article) will do:

"The word afikoman has a number of possible origins, mostly from Greek. They have in common the prefix "epi-," Greek for over. What the koman part means is debated, though most scholars believe the root is komos, which has to do with revelry, festivals, and merry-making, and is also the source of our word comedy.
All kinds of revelry took place at the end of Greek festive meals, and sometimes the celebrants would go to other houses to continue the party; sometimes they would stay and sing. It seems that Judah was saying: After the seder, dont go crazy, just go to bed."


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