1) THE PROHIBITION TO EAT AFTER THE KORBAN PESACH AND THE FINAL MATZAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah says, "Ein Maftirin Achar ha'Pesach Afikoman." The Gemara records several opinions how to understand this statement.
Rav says that it means that one may not go to a different Chaburah and eat any other food there, lest he accidentally eat some of the Korban Pesach there (to eat the Korban Pesach in a second place is an Isur d'Oraisa). He may continue to eat, though, in his original Chaburah's location, even after he finishes his share of the Korban Pesach.
Shmuel and Rebbi Yochanan argue that it means that one is not allowed to eat after the Korban Pesach even in one's original place.
According to Rav, the prohibition not to eat after the Korban Pesach is clearly a Gezeirah to guard one from the Isur d'Oraisa not to eat the Korban Pesach in two places. What, though, is Shmuel's reasoning to prohibit eating after the Korban Pesach even in the same place?
Furthermore, the Amora'im discuss whether or not this Halachah applies to eating anything after Matzah when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing, when there is no Korban Pesach. Why should it be prohibited to eat after the Matzah ("Afikoman") when there is no Korban Pesach?
(a) The RASHBAM (DH Kegon) explains that one should not eat after the Pesach or Matzah in order that the taste of the Pesach or Matzah should remain in one's mouth. This idea is implied by the Gemara when it says that we might have thought that one is allowed to eat after the Korban Pesach because it is so fatty that the taste will remain with him even if he eats other things afterwards. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Chametz u'Matzah 8:9) also cites this reason.
Why is it important that the taste of the Pesach or Matzah linger in one's mouth? When one keeps the taste of the Pesach or Matzah in his mouth, he shows his love for the Mitzvah and that he wants the Mitzvah to stay with him longer.
(b) The RASHBAM mentions another reason why one should not eat after the Pesach. He says that it is to ensure that the Korban Pesach will be eaten while one is satiated ("Al ha'Sova"). If one is not allowed to eat afterwards, he will ensure that the meat of the Pesach fills him up.
How is this reason consistent with the words of the Gemara, which emphasizes that the reason not to eat after the Pesach is so that the taste of the Pesach will remain in his mouth?
TOSFOS (120a, DH Maftirin) explains that when the Gemara says that the taste must remain in one's mouth, it refers to the opinion which says that one may eat neither after the Pesach nor after Matzah. The other opinion, which says that this prohibition applies only to the Pesach, does not maintain that the reason is because of taste. If he did, then that reason should be more of a reason not to eat after the Matzah and less of a reason not to eat after the Pesach, because the taste of the Pesach is strong and lingers even when one eats something else afterwards. It must be that this opinion maintains that the prohibition is because the Pesach must be eaten "Al ha'Sova," which is a way to honor food which is Kodesh. Matzah, on the other hand, is only commemorative of the Korban Pesach, and it is not actually Kodesh. Therefore, this opinion maintains that there is no prohibition to eat after the Matzah.
RABEINU MANO'ACH (in his comments to the Rambam, loc. cit.) says that the Gemara here really means that one may not eat after the Pesach because of the reason of "Al ha'Sova." However, that reason explains only why the Korban may not be eaten at the beginning of the meal. It does not explain why it must be the very last thing which one eats. Therefore, it is necessary to mention also that the taste must remain in one's mouth.
Conversely, if the only reason not to eat after the Pesach was because of the taste (that is, so that one should enjoy the Korban Pesach more), one might have thought that it is better to eat the Korban at the beginning of the meal, when he has a strong appetite. Therefore, the Gemara needs to add the reason that one must eat the Pesach "Al ha'Sova" to teach that it must be eaten at the end.
(c) The RAN explains that according to Shmuel and Rebbi Yochanan, the reason to leave the taste of the Pesach in one's mouth is not to demonstrate a love for the Mitzvah. Rather, they agree with Rav that the prohibition to eat after the Pesach is a preventative measure to ensure that a person does not eat the Korban Pesach in two different locations. The concern is that one who eats something after the Pesach might lose the taste of the Pesach and forget whether or not he ate it. He could then mistakenly think that he still needs to eat it, and he may go to another location and eat the Pesach there. That would be a transgression of the Isur d'Oraisa not to eat the Korban Pesach in two places.
The opinion that allows one to eat after Matzah when there is no Korban maintains that since Matzah is only commemorative of the Korban Pesach, and there is no prohibition to eat it in another place, the Rabanan did not include it in the original Gezeirah.
(d) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR explains that one should leave the taste of the Korban Pesach and Matzah in his mouth so that he does not forget to say Hallel. The Gemara teaches (86a) that after the Korban Pesach was eaten, the people would go to a different, less crowded place to say Hallel. There is a fear that if they leave the places of their Chaburos in order to go elsewhere to say Hallel, they may forget to say Hallel and just go straight home. Therefore, they must keep the taste of the Pesach in their mouths to remind them to say Hallel.
OPINIONS: The Mishnah says, "Ein Maftirin Achar ha'Pesach Afikoman" -- after one eats the Korban Pesach, he may not conclude with "Afikoman."
What is the meaning of the word "Afikoman"?
(a) RASHI (86a) and the RASHBAM here explain that the word "Afikoman" means "Apiku Manaichu" -- "take out your utensils [and eat elsewhere]." This is consistent with Rav's understanding that the prohibition not to eat after the Pesach is based on a Gezeirah not to eat in a different location (see previous Insight).
(b) The Rashbam explains that according to Shmuel and Rebbi Yochanan, who maintain that the prohibition is to eat after the Pesach even in one's original place, the term "Afikoman" means "bring out types of sweet treats," or "Apiku Minei Metikah."
(c) REBBI AKIVA EIGER (on the Mishnayos) cites the TISHBI (Rav Eliyahu Bachur) who argues with Rashi and the Rashbam. He says that the word "Afikoman" is a common Greek word which means "dessert," and there is no need to find an Aramaic source for the word. Others add that the word "Maftirin" is based on the Greek "Fateirah," which means meal (even though it is conjugated in the Mishnah like a Hebrew word).
Throughout the Gemara, there are a number of occasions on which the Chachamim took a word from a different language, such as Aramaic or Greek, and gave it Hebrew roots (see Shabbos 77b). They did this for several reasons.
1. The TIFERES YISRAEL explains that the Chachamim wanted to "Judaify" (make Jewish) the words they took from foreign languages. They only used a foreign word when they saw that there was a way to read it based on Hebrew (or Aramaic) roots.
2. The SHELAH (cited by the MARGOLIYOS HA'YAM, Sanhedrin 4b) says that all languages originated from Hebrew. (The Midrash says that at the time of the Tower of Bavel, the 70 core foreign languages branched off from Hebrew.)
Occasionally, the Chachamim used a word from a foreign language which they recognized as an original Hebrew word, and they showed its roots and its relationship to the Hebrew language. (See also the commentary of HAGADAS ZECHER YEHOSEF on the answer to the "wise son.")