Questions and Comments About Leavening
Q. Exactly what are leavening agents and products?
A. A leavening agent is any substance that causes fermentation in bread, such as yeast, baking soda or baking powder, of course, there are other leavening agents; however, the instructions concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread only include the prohibition of eating leavened bread and bread products, such as crackers, cakes, and etc.
Q. How can one remove leavening products from where they live and work without causing problems with others who share this living or 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 Feast 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 and then bring them back for use after the Feast?
A. Because leavening is symbolic of sin, and we must remove 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.
The instructions not to eat leavened bread and not to have leavened products on one's property during the days of Unleavened Bread are found in Exodus 12:19 and Deuteronomy 16:4.
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 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 we breathe; they are on fruit, grain, vegetables, flowers, and in most water supplies. Therefore, it would be virtually impossible to totally rid your property of leavening agents and keep them away during the entire seven days of the festival.
If you make an honest effort to remove leavening agents, such as yeast, baking soda or baking powder, and bread products that contain leavening from your 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 these seven days, 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 days.
The Lesson of Leavening
The important thing to remember is that leavened products and leavened bread are not 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.
By B. L. Cocherell b5w50