QUESTIONS, ANSWERS, AND COMMENTS CONCERNING LEAVENINGBack to Alphabetical Index | Back to Chapter Index
Q. Exactly what are leavening agents and products?
A. A leavening agent is any substance that causes fermentation in bread such as yeast, soda, or baking powder. Of course, there are other kinds of leavening agents; however, the instructions concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread only include the prohibition of eating bread and bread products such as bread, crackers, cakes, and etc..
Q. How can one remove leavening products from where they live and work without causing problems with others who share the living and or the working space?
A. If your spouse or others with whom you share a home, property, or work space do not share your views concerning the Days of Unleavened Bread, for the sake of peace and harmony do not press the issue. Instead, take care of your own personal property in a way that complies with the letter and spirit of the law.
Q. Is it permissible to remove leavened products, store them somewhere else, and then bring them back for use after the feast?
A. Because leavening is symbolic of sin, and we must remove it (sin) from our lives, it does not seem logical that, after we have put away something that represents sin, we would bring this representation of sin back into our lives after the feast.
Most people want to recover their leavened products because of monetary consideration or because it seems to be a waste of perfectly good food.
One way to eliminate or reduce the cost or the volume of leavening products to be discarded before the feast is to plan ahead and purchase only what one can consume up to that point in time.
In Exodus 12:19 and Deuteronomy 16:4, we see the instruction to remove all leaven during the days of Unleavened Bread.
During the process of removing leavening in preparation for the Festival of Unleavened bread, it is important to remember that God does not expect us to do the impossible. It is literally impossible to remove all leavening agents from one's property, because yeast spores are extremely abundant on earth. They are everywhere. They are in the dust and the air that we breathe; they are on fruit, grain, vegetables, flowers, and in most water supplies. Therefore, it would be virtually impossible to totally rid one's property of leavening agents and keep them away during the entire seven days of the feast.
If one makes an honest effort to remove leaving agents such as yeast, soda, or baking powder, and bread products that contain leavening from one's property, this should be sufficient to satisfy the letter and spirit of law.
Nowhere in the scriptures are we required to go to extreme lengths to totally destroy and remove 'all' leaven from our property. A balanced approach should be used when cleaning our property and preparing for the Days of Unleavened Bread. God only expects us to control what we have control over and not the things we have no control over.
There are always questions as to what is legal and what is not legal to eat or drink during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
When trying to determine what is prohibited and what is acceptable to eat and drink during this seven day feast, one should remember that these are the Days of Unleavened Bread, not the days of unleavened beer, wine, candy, whipped-cream, yogurt, etc..
Although care should be taken to avoid eating things that are obviously leavened products, the spirit of the instruction to avoid leavening is what is important. The instruction is to not eat leavened bread and to eat unleavened bread in order to learn the spiritual lessons that are taught by these seven festival days.
The Lesson of Leavening
The important thing to remember is that leavened products and leavened bread are not sin sinful things; they are only symbolic of sin. The removal of all leavening from our homes and country is beyond our power; only God could do such a thing. The lesson is to make a diligent effort to remove real sin from one's life and replace this sin with righteousness:
"Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread [symbolic of righteousness and sinlessness]; the first day you shall have put leaven [symbolic of sin] out of your houses: for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel" (Ex.12:15 KJV). See also Ex.34:18; Num.28:17.