Leavening it out 2015

What is leaven? Is leaven any fermented thing like grape juice?

shamsi bread

shamsi bread

Bread was a staple food in ancient Egypt as it is today; there were up to 15 kinds of bread in the Old Kingdom and nearly 40 in the New Kingdom and they were baked from wheat, barley or corn, in a number of shapes, from oval to round, twisted, concave and even in the form of animals like the crocodile which is traditionally believed to bring good luck and is still made by the Nubians.

In ancient Egypt, bread was mostly a thin sheet of dough similar to the “roqaq” or a thick loaf like the “shamsi”, the sun bread, which is still made in Upper Egypt. The ancient Egyptians would make the “shamsi” bread by leaving a ball to rise in the sun; however, like most bread baked during those times, it was hard and chewy. Early wheat strains were heated before threshing so that the husk could be removed but this process destroyed the gluten-forming proteins essentials to make a light-textured bread.

The ancient Egyptians developed a strain of wheat which could be threshed without preliminary heating, taking a huge step toward the improvement of bread. They also introduced leavening into their bread and, in the third millenium, began using yeast.

Rav Soloveitchik explained that Passover represents the struggle of the Jew to free himself of inclinations that are not in consonance with the Torah. Bi’ur chamtez, eradicating leavened grain product, symbolizes the elimination of tendencies that pull one away from the Will of God.

Video clips used herein are under the provision of fair use. Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s