[b-hebrew] The Pesach prohibition - baked, not leavened bread

Vadim Cherny VadimCherny at mail.ru
Sat Sep 23 13:42:27 EDT 2006

>  They are all adulterers, like an oven heated by the baker who ceaseth
> to  stir from kneading of the dough until it is humtzato.  "adulterers
> like an oven" surely makes no sense. More plausibly, here is  poetic
> transposition, and Hosea means, "they are adulterers like the baker."
> The baker does nothing while the dough is in the oven, and Hosea accuses
> the  people of similarly abandoning their duties.  In any case, the
> dough is in the oven, and does not leaven anymore, but is  baked. (Any
> woman here on the list who ever tried to bake?) "from kneading  until
> humtzato" cannot mean "from kneading until leavening", that's absurd.
> It could only mean, "from kneading until being baked."
> >
>  Vadim Cherny
> >
> The image, I think, is of a smouldering fire, generating heat even when
> apparently quiescent. The baker starts his fire as a vigorous "stirred"
> flame, but then banks it so the heat will spread throughout the oven and
> be absorbed into its walls - this allows the heat to be released evenly
> when the actual baking takes place. As the oven "preps" he kneads the
> bread and allows it rise, and THEN puts it into the oven to bake.
> Stoney Breyer

Hosea is explicit on the matter: the baker ceases to stir, not to do
anything else. Hosea likens exactly the cessation of steering to "adulterous
I don't know much about baking, but several times I saw bread baking in
traditional Egyptian villages, they kept the fire burning, not just
smouldering coals.

Vadim Cherny

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