Flour offerings were not allowed to become leavened. Those that consisted of dough had to be offered as matzah, or unleavened bread. The Torah specifically said that each flour offering must be “without leaven.”
The two exceptions to this rule were the two loaves of Shavuot and the thanksgiving offering. The two loaves of Shavuot were completely leavened; they were made of wheat, ground into fine flour. The thanksgiving offering was accompanied by forty loaves, ten of which had to be leavened.
The loaves that had to be leaved presented a special problem. Ordinarily one adds some sourdough to hasten the leavening process. In case of sacrifices, the measure had to be exact, and additional sourdough would make it invalid. Rabbi Meir suggests to take out some flour, allow it to leaven, then return it to the offering. Rabbi Yehudah disagrees, since leavening in this case would not be perfect. Rather, one has to put in sourdough and then add flour to complete the measure. The Sages, however, say that in that way too the offering would be either deficient or excessive, because the water in the sourdough would distort the measurements.
Art: Peter de Wint - Still Life With Basket, Bread, Bottles And A Keg By A Table
Eruvin 93 – Semi-transparent partition
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