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What is Chametz?

What is Chametz?

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Chametz is any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, which has leavened (risen). Our sages have determined that flour from any of these five grains that comes in contact with water or moisture will leaven, unless fully baked within eighteen minutes. As we are commanded by the Torah, if a food contains even a trace of chametz, we don’t eat it, we don’t derive benefit from it, and we make sure not to have any of it in our possession for all the days of Passover.

To be certain that a product is kosher for Passover, it must have rabbinical certification. Otherwise it is possible that it contains chametz ingredients, or traces of chametz if it was processed on the same equipment as chametz products. Thus, unless a product is certified Kosher for Passover, we consider it chametz, and make sure not to have it in our possession on Passover.

Note: Matzah used all year round might be pure chametz, and not for Passover use. Only matzahs baked especially for Passover may be used on Passover.

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Discussion (35)
April 7, 2014
ReL gram flour
The problem with this product is that is is Kitnityot and therefore not used by Ashkenazic Jews. But even if you're Sephardic, it would have to be certified as Kosher for Passover by a reliable agency.
Eliezer Zalmanov
for Chabad.org
April 5, 2014
What about using gram flour - only ingredients are chana dal and yellow split peas- Chana dal is from an Indian bean
Anonymous
East Kilbride
February 17, 2014
To Anonymous
Yes, oats and the other grains mentioned above are considered leavened. Those who are gluten intolerant can eat oat matzahs which have been carefully prepared under supervision by rabbinical experts.
Chabad.org Staff
February 16, 2014
steel cut oats/oatmeal
are steel cut oats cooked for less than 18 minutes for oatmeal considered leaven? Not used for bread - only for oatmeal?
thank you
Anonymous
April 14, 2013
Re: the leap
You are correct that they didn't choose their bread types, but we do know that it was one that would have risen had it been given the chance. This includes five types of grain:wheat, spelt, oats, rye, and barley. That's how we know that any product which the dough can rise is included in this Mitzvah of remembrance.

(Corn is not one of those grains, but is not eaten of Passover by Ashkenazic as part of the rabbinic ban on what is know as kitniyot. See: chabad.org/871998)
Anonymous
NYC
March 27, 2013
How did we make the leap from unleavened to prohibited?
The English Haggadah says: The dough of our fathers did not have time to become leavened before the King of the kings of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to them and redeemed them.

Yet, on Pesach, there is a long list of prohibited items under the category of Chametz; i.e any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, as well as corn.

Our ancestors did not have time to pick what they should bring along on the journey out of Egypt. They grabbed what they could, including their normal bread dough, and left. The key to achieving matzah was not in the contents of the dough, but in the process: limited leavening time and baking on hot desert rocks.

Why then do we have so much discussion on what is prohibited? None of the modern-day chametz was ever mentioned in the story of Exodus. The Almighty never spoke to Moses saying,"Lead our people Israel out of Egypt, but check them for wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt"
Anonymous
MN
March 22, 2013
You don't need to discard those products, you can put them in the cabinet where you store your chametz and seal and sell it.
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
mychabad.org
March 22, 2013
do we need to throw out our wheat or barley, or we can sell those as well?
Anonymous
March 6, 2013
Standard baking powder is not Kosher for Passover, you need to purchase one that has a Kosher for Passover certification. You should be able to find it in Kosher food stores and/or the Kosher for Passover section in your supermarket.
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
mychabad.org
March 6, 2013
baking powder
Is baking powder kosher for passover?
Saul
Florida
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