Matzah

Matzá also known as Matzoh is a traditional unleavened (flat) bread of Jewish food, made with flour and water. This is the “official” meal of Passover (Jewish Passover). Among the statutes that God sent to Israel when they possessed the land promised to their parents was celebrating the feast of unleavened bread which is 7 days beginning on the 15th of the first month of Israel (which is April) and was after celebrating the Passover in which a lamb was eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Summary

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  • 1 Story
  • 2 Features
  • 3 Common varieties
  • 4 References

History

The Bible mentions that these are the 7 holidays associated with Easter (Lev. 23: 5-8), which were sometimes considered part of it (Lk. 22: 1, 7). The original instructions for the observance of the Passover meal included the abstinence in the homes of the Hebrews from the consumption of the eating of leavened bread, from the sunset of Nisan 14 (the day when the Passover lamb was sacrificed) until the sunset. of sun of the 21 of that same month (Ex. 12: 8, 18-20). Later, the custom of carrying out a search was introduced to verify that no leaven was left in the home on the 14th. On the 15th, a day after Easter, it was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and a ceremonial Saturday, day of rest and of “holy convocation” or meeting; to the next (“after Saturday”, RVR 1977), on the 16th, a ceremony was performed consisting of rocking a sheaf – the first fruits of the barley – that signaled the beginning of the harvest season (Lev. 23: 10-14). This requirement of the “rocking sheaf” forced the Jews to adjust their lunar calendar so that it would be consistent with the seasons of the year. The last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 21st of the month, was like the 15th, a ceremonial Saturday (vs. 7, 8).

The 15th of the month was the first of the 7 days of this feast (Exo. 23:15; 34:18; Lev. 23: 6-14; Deut. 16: 3-8), also called the first day of the Easter (Eze. 45:21). It was a Sabbath of a special feast, on which no work was to be done (Lev. 23: 6, 7; cf. vers. 24, 32 with reference to the “Sabbath”). This was not a weekly Saturday, the 7th day of the week. It fell on a fixed day, the 15th of Nisan, and consequently on a different day of the week every year. It was the first of the seven ceremonial Sabbaths related to the cycle of the annual feasts, of which it is specifically said that they should be celebrated “in addition to Jehovah’s Sabbaths” (Lev. 23:38). These days of rest were part of the ceremonial law; therefore, unlike the 7th day, reminiscent of creation, they were ”

The “day after the Sabbath”, that is, the day after the ceremonial day of rest after Easter, that is, on Nisan 16, the wave sheaf ceremony, the first fruits of the barley harvest, was performed. Before this ceremony was performed, one should not eat the new grain. The feast of unleavened bread ended on the 21st with another ceremonial Sabbath (Lev. 23: 8).

characteristics

Only five grains can be used to make matzo flour, which, according to Jewish tradition, cannot be used for any other purpose during Passover:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Oats

Both wheat and spelled are of the genus Triticum. The oat grain is made of gluten free. Millet is a cereal that can be used as an alternative to the previous ones, although it takes a couple of days for it to be mild. The dough made by the five grains can rise if 18 minutes have passed since it was moistened: if it takes longer in the oven, the matzo cannot be obtained. The matzo flour must be kneaded to form the matzo dough, which is usually used as a substitute for flour in the Paschal kitchen.

Common varieties

There are two great types of matzo. The most common in the United States and Argentina is the Ashkenazi, which has a similar appearance and texture to cookies. Sephardic Jews consume a type of matzo that is very similar to pita. In the Ashkenazi matzah one can distinguish the matzah shmura, which is a circular shaped matzah approximately 30cm in diameter. Aside from their shape, these two types of matzo have quite a different flavor. Traditional matzo is usually only available during the Easter season and is considerably more expensive than the commercial variety.

 

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