Hiking the Afikomen.
Sometimes typos make me laugh. One did today.
I was commenting on Facebook in response to a post by a friend. (Yes, I reluctantly admit that I use Facebook.)
My friend had hurt his shoulder. He is recovering from surgery and is feeling a lot of pain.
I was trying to be empathetic.
Typing quickly, I quipped, “Be careful when you hike the afikomen.”
Then I corrected it with “*hide” so that it could be read, “Be careful when you hide the afikomen.”
The comment implied that, this way his wound would hurt less.
The afikomen, by the way, is a part of the Passover tradition. It is piece of matzah. As a part of our family celebration, hiding it always led to the kids’ tumultuous, chaotic, loud (read, screaming) exercise of seeking it out and finding it so they could receive a reward. For further information, see, http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/g/afikomen.htm.
Well, the typo led to much amusement on my part. Hence, this post.
I am not used to typing the word “hide.” Rather, because of a long history in Scouting and a passion for the outdoors, I have probably typed the word, “hike” a million times. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration).
Anyway, I have always liked hiking.
So, when I saw the phrase I had typed – “Be careful when you hike the afikomen” – I thought about a trail that might be called “the Afikomen.”
Compare this with the Appalachian Trail and “hiking the Appalachian.”
That was funny to me.
Then I had to think about the Jews trudging through the dessert, hiking the Afikomen. (Afikomen is a word that comes from the Greek word for “dessert” according to the website cited above.)
I suppose, with a Seder meal of so many courses, we do trudge through the dessert afterwards.
How can anyone eat this much?
So, in my mind, that image, and the play on words, led to trudging through the desert, another potent symbol of Passover.
That was more sobering.
Finally, I decided that “hiking the afikomen” is really an okay phrase, if one uses the secondary definition of hike (i.e., “: to rise up; especially : to work upward out of place <skirt had hiked up in back>, see, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hike.)
That idea ultimately made sense to me because we do lift the plate of matzah, from which the afikomen is taken, to show everyone at the table during the Seder.
So, “be careful when you hike the afikomen” could be read to mean be careful when you lift the matzah plate.
I guess I was being empathetic after all to my friend with the hurting shoulder.
PS Happy Passover to those who celebrate, and be careful when dealing with the afikomen….