By Stan Goodenough

“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.” (Leviticus 23:6)

Sometimes confused with Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, while directly linked to the Passover is actually a feast on its own.

As they prepared to leave Egypt the Lord commanded the Israelites to remove all traces of leaven from their homes. Biblically, this leaven is symbolic of sin, and as the Angel of Death was set to pass over the homes with blood on the doorposts, the lack of leaven in those homes would further signify their “righteousness”.

The unleavened bread, eaten with the roasted Passover Lamb on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month further signified the suddeness with which the Israelites’ deliverance would come. The bread simply did not have the time to rise before they had to eat it and go.

And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves. (Exodus 12:39)

Prophetically, Israel’s coming, final deliverance may very well be as sudden and unexpected, for the Jews as well as for those who oppress them.

In Israel today, those keeping this feast purchase enormous packs of special “Kosher for Passover” unleavened bread called Matza from the supermarkets. All non-kosher for Passover products, including corn flakes, pop corn, beer, potato crisps, beans etc. are covered up for the duration of the week. Ordinary bread is nowhere to be found.

The number of menu items which use matza flour is quite impressive. The novelty of the light and crisp crackers quickly wears off, however, and Israelis soon start referring to matzot as the “bread of affliction.”

© Israel My Beloved