Why Are You Hiding?

Hello, I’m excited to begin contributing to our community with a Modern-Orthodox thought article. I will cover a range of topics from kashrut, to davening to minyan, to exploring Orthodox Judaism. Some things might get a little edgy. I will sprinkle in my own thoughts on certain matters and we won’t always agree. But that’s ok. Because we are all brothers and sisters and I love you all. I hope to inspire thought, pondering, and some insight. I’m not a writer by trade. But love to write as a hobby. I’m very excited and honored to bring service to our community.

I asked, “Why are you hiding?” So? Why are you hiding? During Passover one common tradition in many Jewish homes is to hide the afikoman, and then for children to scatter about looking for it. Once found, a reward can be anything from a special topping for their matzah, to gelt (the chocolate coin variety, or even better, THE REAL THING!) to recognition, or even being able to pronounce a blessing at the table.

I was inspired in thought that maybe this simple game has a deeper meaning. Maybe finding the afikoman and bringing it back is like finding our lost Jewish brothers and sisters and bringing them back. Not too long ago, I had an experience with a client I work with: an elderly Russian lady asked if I was Jewish. I reminded her of her uncle, she said. I admitted yes. She said that she, too, was Jewish. She so desperately wanted that Jewish connection she was unable to have in Russia.

I feel it is important for EVERY Jew to feel welcome. To feel loved and accepted. This season of Passover, let’s all find the afikomen, and bring “it” back. It is a mitzvah, and the good feels you will get far surpass a $2 bill or a chocolate coin.

Schon Maher is a better-every-day, unaffiliated, progressive, thinking, Modern Orthodox minded guy just trying to reconcile commandments and laws with compassion and love in this very turbulent world.

(Photo: jessica wilson)