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THe Torah says (Ex 12,39):

וַיֹּאפוּ אֶת־הַבָּצֵק אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיאוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם עֻגֹת מַצּוֹת כִּי לֹא חָמֵץ כִּי־גֹרְשׁוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ וְגַם־צֵדָה לֹא־עָשׂוּ לָהֶם׃

And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had taken out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, since they had been driven out of Egypt and could not delay; nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

THe Haggadah repeats it:

מַצָּה זוֹ שֶׁאָנוֹ אוֹכְלִים, עַל שׁוּם מַה? עַל שׁוּם שֶׁלֹּא הִסְפִּיק בְּצֵקָם שֶׁל אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהַחֲמִיץ עַד שֶׁנִּגְלָה עֲלֵיהֶם מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים,

This matsa that we are eating, for the sake of what [is it]? For the sake [to commemorate] that our ancestors' dough was not yet able to rise, before the King of the kings of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed [Himself] to them and redeemed them.

Here's the chronological order of events I was taught:

  1. Bney Israel had the tradition (from Avraham) the redemption will occur on the 15 of Nissan

  2. On the first of Nissan Moses explained the drill in details, what is planned for the week of 10th to 15th of Nissan, so they started to plan the mass leaving two weeks ahead.

  3. On the 14th they had big preparations for the last night, including the Korban and all the surrounding food. They knew they are leaving Egypt in the next 48 hours.

  4. On the night of the 15th they had a big meal and waited another 12 hours to leave "in the middle of the day".

So from the 1st of Nissan to the noon of the 15th of Nissan when exactly they were in such hurry that they "could not delay" for 18 moments to have the dough leavened?

  • Maybe it takes more then 18 minutes for bread to leaven in an appetizing way – Naftali Tzvi Apr 25 '19 at 17:53
  • I was going to ask something similar -- not about the days of lead-up, but ordinary bread dough only takes about an hour to rise and they also had time in there to go collect gold and silver from all their neighbors. When did they make this dough such that it didn't have time to rise? – Monica Cellio Apr 25 '19 at 18:48
  • Breadmaking from sourdough (which is the leavening) is a long process. That 18 minutes is just the maximum amount of time that one can have matzah dough before it is baked. It has nothing to do with making yeast bread. If your sourdough is ready, you can use it to make bread in a few hours, but usually done with one rise happening overnight. If it's not ready, it can take a week or two to make it from scratch. You can bake your bread at any stage of fermentation and it will still come out nice, just not necessarily risen. So the question is: did they get rid of their starters ahead of time? – Cyn says make Monica whole Sep 1 '19 at 20:51

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