It is understood that the ACTUAL making of מצה today is a very careful and meticulous process -and it would seem that there is a discrepancy in the process of people leaving Egypt by way of it simply not rising as they left with dough that didn't rise as it baked in the open air under the hot sun as opposed to in an oven as we bake it today. This opens up for several points:

  • Is matzoh making today TRYING to replicate this process as described in the הגדה?
  • clearly the process of rolling, and baking needs to be done at high heat within 18 minutes and the SUN is not as hot as a מצה oven.

  • Either it is understood that we have a different method today in baking matzos, at least the Askenazi minhag (as opposed to timoni or sefardi methods)

Assuming there is a discrepancy between the הגדה and contemporary מצה making methods, either there is a reason the הגדה describes it this way which would seemingly be incorrect and there is a deeper meaning, OR perhaps we have added stringencies since the actual Exodus.

  • Can you quote where it says they took dough with them that baked on their backs? That'd make your question much clearer (especially since my copy doesn't have that).
    – msh210
    Apr 15, 2017 at 19:31
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    (The Haggadah's actually quoting the passuk in Parshas Bo.) What makes you think that they can't bake matzah on their backs? Maybe they took the dough, put it in their sacks, and it baked in the desert heat. (This process apparently produces something more similar to Sefardi matzas than Ashkenazi ones.)
    – DonielF
    Apr 16, 2017 at 5:52
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    "process of people leaving Egypt by way of it simply not rising as they left with dough that didn't rise as it baked in the open air under the hot sun" where does the Haggada say that, and why do you assume this was how they baked their bread? The source for this tradition is a Targum Yonathan (shmos 12:39). However note that most commentators interpret "ויאפו את הבצק" plainly, that they baked their bread in an oven (possibly on their way out in one of these stop-overs).
    – Bach
    Jun 15, 2017 at 13:48

2 Answers 2


Regarding the rule to be very careful in mastot, Exodus 12, 17:

You shall observe the [Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for all time.

Rashi in chumashi explains that this is the source of the rule.

AND YE SHALL WATCH THE UNLEAVENED BREAD that it shall not reach the stage of becoming leavened; hence the Rabbis said, if it (the dough) is rising (a sign that the leavening process is setting in) she (the woman kneading the dough) polishes it with cold water (i. e. she slaps the dough with hands dipped in cold water).

They did follow the rule, the details are part of the oral law.


The people took their unbaked dough in their kneading troughs:

"And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders" - Ex. 12:34

It is also well accepted that they left at night, meaning they would not have been able to bake the bread on their backs. The first place that they camp is called Sukkoth. Logic would tell us that this is where they stopped to bake the matsa.

  • It is also well accepted that they left at night - except that it isn't. They were freed at night and only left during the day, not running away like thieves in the night. Mar 29, 2018 at 11:32

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