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TZAFUN (CAFUN) (Hebraic צפון) ) - the name of the eleventh Part of the Seder Meal.

During the Jewish Passover (see: Passover) the leader of the liturgical assembly takes care to assure that the celebration runs strictly according to the order (in Hebrew: Seder). For this purpose he uses the special book, “The Passover Haggadah”. “The Passover Haggadah” contains fourteen main parts to be accomplished sequentially. One of these parts is “TZAFUN (CAFUN)” - “HIDDEN”. What is its meaning?

To answer this question, one ought to perceive, that:

While one accomplishes the eleventh Part of the Seder Meal “Tzafun”, the special unleavenedAfikoman” is eaten.

What is the meaning of “Afikoman” in Seder?

The correct etymology of “Afikoman” is very important to understand its meaning in Seder.

Against the prevailing opinion, it is not the Greek word on which “Afikoman” is based. The meaning of “Afikoman” is easily perceptible in its Hebrew inscription. But... where one can find this Hebrew word? The answer is following: within the framework of the 5th part of the Seder, the leader has to explain all the laws and orders bearing upon of the celebrated ceremony. This presentation of laws he has to finish on the prohibition of the eating of anything after the eating of paschal Afikoman (this prohibition is written in Mishna, where in the order Moed in the tractate Pesahim the tenth and final chapter discusses the order of the Passover seder: for Afikoman see X.8). Here we have the Hebrew word “Afikoman” - אֲפִיקוֹםָן. This word presented without these vocalic signs which were added to Hebrew texts by Masoretes about the 6th century after Christ, has the following form: “אפיקומן”. Because in dictionaries of Hebrew there is no the word with such consonants, one can suppose that this is a word formed as the composition of two or more well-known Hebrew words. Penetrating research showed that it is so indeed.

So we have the meaning of “Afikoman”, perceived in its Hebrew inscription:

The meaning of Afikoman is the most clear against the background of history of Exodus:


It is well known that rich in history and tradition, the Passover Seder commemorates the exodus of Jewish slaves from Egypt thousands of years ago… Now we can link the particular part of Seder with the particular part of exodus history: the eating of “Afikoman” in the eleventh Part of the Seder Meal (“Tzafun”) means that just in the time of this eating, participants of Passover participate in the passage under the leadership of God with their fathers between the two halves of the divided Sea of Reeds.

The last remark

The eating of Afikoman by the participants of Passover translocates them into the whole way from the place of the consumption of the lamb in Egypt to the place of singing hymn in Lord's honour on the second strand of the Sea of Reeds, but - in compliance with the correct etymology of Afikoman and of the eleventh Part of the Seder Meal (“Tzafun”) - chiefly into this its fragment which is on the bare bottom of the Sea of Reeds, in front of Baal-Zephon.

See also

External links


Wojciech Kosek, Pierwotny ryt Paschy w świetle schematu literackiego Księgi Wyjścia 1-18, Publisher: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Papieskiej Akademii Teologicznej, 2008, pp. 440, 978b83b74381598 and [1]