Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?

Illustration for article titled Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?

On this night, some of us will have our matzoh-hiding privileges revoked.

For many years now - since I graduated from hunting for the afikomen, in fact - I've been the designated Matzoh hider at the Seder held by my paternal side. (It should be my Grandpa but he doesn't feel like it.) It's a job I take seriously - some would say too seriously. No one's going to find that napkin in under fifteen minutes on my watch - and after fifteen years, this is an increasing challenge in an apartment. Of course, I've had a few new guards in the children department, which allows for a little blatant Cosmo-style recycling.


When the kids are little, I go easy. Maybe under a sofa cushion or propped up behind a photograph. The next tier of difficulty is the bookshelf, where I wedge the slim bundle between two books. The insides of the piano is a controversial spot, because of the crumbs risk. I have hidden the matzoh in the tank of the toilet (in a plastic bag), under the doormat, in the dog's bed (bad idea.) Last year I really took it to the next level: my hiding place involved the use of a stepladder and several decoys. Indeed, so challenging was the hiding that finding required a lengthy game of "Hot and Cold." No one seemed to find it much fun and various people seemed to think I'd gone too far.

This year, I received a nervous phone call: a distant cousin visiting "had asked" if she could hide the Afikomen. What could I say? I was silent. My reign was at an end. Tonight I will grit my teeth and watch as the children run off and find the napkin with, doubtless, gleeful ease. This random distant cousin will not realize the legacy she is tarnishing; the kids will probably be relieved.

Thank goodness I still supervise next weekend's egg hunt. Happy Passover!



Italians don't hide eggs or bread: we combine them. Ladies and gentlemen: Pani Pasquali!