Today we introduce the biblical food which is also another name for Passover in the Bible − ma•tzot, ma•tzo, ma•tza, unleavened bread.
On Passover Jews are commanded to avoid any regular bread along with any other product that includes regular, leavened flour and to eat only unleavened bread, matzot, for seven days.
“You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread; you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, in the time appointed in the month Abib; for in it you came out from Egypt; and none shall appear before me empty”
Passover is named seven times in Bible as ‘chag ha•Matzot,’ the ma•tzas holiday. You surely know that the reason for eating ma•tzot on Passover is to commemorate the hasty departure of the Israelites from Egypt, where there was no time to make bread in the regular way, with yeast. This process would have taken too much time, and because of the urgency to flee from Pharaoh’s wrath, the Israelites made their bread unleavened.
Besides the commandment to eat matzot on Passover, matzot is also mentioned in the Bible as sacramental and also as a regular food product:
“Also you shall take… And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the Lord”
“And Gideon went in, and prepared a kid [young goat], and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour”
During Passover, bread is non-existent in Israeli shops and supermarkets. All Jewish bakeries by law stop baking it for seven days. If you are ever in Israel during the end of Passover, you can’t miss the frenetic craze exhibited by masses of Israelis, while leaving their homes to the streets at the moment Passover ends, to grab hot pitta bread that is freshly baked and sold on the street by Arabs. One may think that he/she is witnessing a full-scale starvation that has just reached its moment of salvation.