Mar 27, 2018

Interesting Psak: Double Afikomen

Rav Shalom Cohen, President of the Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah (Shas) was asked by rabbonim from communities in which sunset is very late about the timing for eating afikomen. The problem is that with sunset so late, and presumably sunrise very early, kiddush is very close to chatzos, as the dark hours of the night are very short, making it difficult to have the pesach seder properly and eat the afikomen before chatzos.

Rav Cohen responded that they should eat the afikomen twice - once before chatzos in the middle of their seder and then a second time in its place at the end of the meal.
source: Kikar

It means eating even more matza, but it seems like a reasonable solution, relying on opinions in halacha that would make it work. I dont know how one can eat matza for the afikomen in the middle of maggid when one is not allowed to eat, and what would make eating matza in the middle of maggid be considered the afikomen rather than just eating matza or perhaps the mitzva of matza and then cause a problem for making the matza bracha later. Also, I thought you are nto allowed to eat anything after the afikomen. But I guess he is basing everything on opinions, even if we dont normally rely on them, in difficult situations it is possible to.

I do wonder what they have been doing in these communities until now about this situation.






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8 comments:

  1. That's the chiddush of the Avnei Nezer - that the issur to eat after the afikomen is only during the time when the mitzva is applicable - so if we have to eat the afikomen before chatzos, it is OK to eat right after chatzos. It is a very old chiddush.

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  2. I've heard it before but I dont remember it being considered a commonly accepted psak. Perhaps he is only relying on it because of the circumstances?

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    1. I didn't say it's commonly accepted (although in my Yeshiva we used it), just that it is well-known.

      Delete
  3. The family we've been to Seder for the past 20 years never get to Afikoman by Chatzot, when feasible, the "frum" people try to eat an Afikoman right before Chatzot in accordance with this opinion of the Avnei nezer. Everyone else just follows Rabanan (as opposed to rabbi Akiva) who hold that you have until morning to finish Afikoman.

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    Replies
    1. Just to be pedantic, it's the opposite. R. Elazar ben Azarya says you have to eat the afikoman before chatzos, and R. Akiva says you have until morning.
      Btw, many poskim do accept the Avnei Nezer, and it is a common solution to the problem of getting to afikoman before chatzos.
      With regard to eating in the middle of maggid, the Mishna Berurah (477:6) already wrote that if you have a problem from the beginning of the meal, you should make kiddush and immediately wash and eat matza and maror and then do maggid afterwards.

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  4. I must say, I find the whole issue mysterious. Everyone agrees you can continue sippur yetzias mitzrayim the whole night. So why not just cut down on the vertlach at the beginning, and then say more at the end?

    Typically, you have more than five hours to get to chatzos. What is wrong with taking three hours to get from kiddush to Shulchan Orech (most of which will be Maggid), an hour for the meal, and then you have more than an hour to eat the Afikomen and even say Hallel?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, tzeit was 1935 and chatzot was 0045. That's over *five hours* to get through Maggid and the meal. If you can't manage in that time...

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  5. Would this be Iceland or something like that?

    I can't think of any community in such locations that are sfradi. Only Ashkenazi. (Or lubavitch.)

    Must be more to it, but doesn't affect discussion above.

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