QUERY: Chewing the Afikomen

Y. Tzvi Langermann's picture

An early medieval text that I have been studying instructs us to chew well the afikomen, "recalling the mortar (zekher la-tit)". Has anyone come across this instruction in any source? (It makes sense, well-chewed matzoh certainly resembles mortar!) The Talmud says that it is the purpose of the haroset to "recall the mortar"; my text mentions haroset, but only as a plate of vinegar in which one dips the karpas. Many thanks!

Tzvi Langermann

Categories: Query

For Prof. Tzvi Langermann's question:
Rambam Hilekhot Hametz uMatzah 8:6 wrote that the reason for eating matzah is that this is the poor man's way to eat his bread as sliced bread (following the BT Pesakhim 115b-116a);
Following that some have understood that Rambam believes that matzah is not a reminder of the element of freedom but a reminder of the element of enslavement.
Thus, for example, writes Rabbi Moshe Sofer, Hatam Sofer, see Hagahot Hatam Sofer on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim in: Likutei Hever ben Chaim, vol. 8, 1888, p. 16a, for section 475; Rabbi Moshe Sofer, Khidushei Hatam Sofer ha'Shalem, Eruvin-Pesakhim, Jerusalem 2006, p. 203, s.v. Akhalan Demai, and n. 210.

Admiel Kosman
Potsdam University