QUESTIONS, ANSWERS, AND COMMENTS CONCERNING LEAVENING

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.

REMOVING LEAVENING

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.

Food

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.

By B. L. Cocherell, file b5w50