Why do we not eat bread on Passover?

Why do we not eat bread on Passover?

It is customary among Ashkenazi Jews (those of East European descent) not to eat these foods over Passover, as there were concerns in the past that they might become contaminated with chametz while in storage or that foods resembling chametz could be made from them.

In order for matzah to be properly and thoroughly baked, sustained levels of heat are required for a prescribed period of time; if the matzah is not thoroughly baked, it is considered chametz. Mashgichim must therefore continuously monitor ovens against any drop in baking temperatures.

It is the only type of “bread” which Jews may eat during Passover, and it must be made specifically for Passover use, under rabbinical supervision. Matzah, at the same time the simplest and most complex of kosher products, consists of just two basic ingredients – flour and water.

The bread they baked was flat – Matzah. The Torah commands us to eat Matzah every year on the first night of Passover, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. Matzah is more than a commemorative food. It is called the ‘bread of affliction’ or a ‘poor man’s bread’. It remains flat symbolizing humility.

Coca-Cola is certified kosher year-round, but its high fructose corn syrup renders it unfit for consumption on Passover. Coke actually used to be made with sucrose (made from cane or beet sugar) instead of high fructose corn syrup, but when the switch was made, Coca-Cola sodas became off-limits on Passover.

Coke was a popular beverage among Jews, and rabbis were worried. Rabbi Geffen did indeed discover a problem, a nonkosher ingredient present in Coke as well as in many other foods and beverages. Today, about 40% to 50% of the items in a conventional U.S. supermarket are certified kosher by Orthodox rabbis.

Matzah is a crisp, flat, unleavened bread, made of flour and water, which must be baked before the dough has had time to rise. It is the only type of “bread” which Jews may eat during Passover, and it must be made specifically for Passover use, under rabbinical supervision.

The other reason for eating matzo is symbolic: On the one hand, matzo symbolizes redemption and freedom, but it is also lechem oni, “poor man’s bread”. Thus it serves as a reminder to be humble, and to not forget what life was like in servitude. Also, leaven symbolizes corruption and pride as leaven “puffs up”.

During Passover, Jews are forbidden to eat a category of grains known as kitniot, which includes corn. But the end result today is that there are all sorts of HFCS-sweetened products that are kosher for most of the year but are not kosher during Passover.

In Hebrew, that rising grain is called chametz. The Bible bans it during Passover as a reminder that when the Israelites fled Egypt, they left with unrisen dough in their packs. So these grains can be used to make matzo, aka unleavened bread, as long as the baking process is under 18 minutes.

When the holiday begins after sunset Monday (April 14), they will eat matzo at their Seders, the ritual Passover meals. The unleavened matzo reminds that the Israelites, fleeing slavery with Pharoah’s army at their heels, had no time to let their bread rise, and ate flat matzo instead.

Why don’t Jews eat leavened bread during Passover? Not featured during the meal are leavened foods made of grain known as “chametz.” Chametz is prohibited during Passover, so you won’t find any pasta, cookies, bread or cereal at the seder. To commemorate this, Jews do not eat leavened bread for eight days.

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