Chametz is made from one of these five grains: wheat, barley, oats, spelt or rye. Matzah MUST be made from one of these five grains. The word chametz חָמץ is derived from the common Semitic root H-M-S, relating to bread, leavening and baking. It is cognate to the Aramaic חמע, "to ferment, leaven" and the Arabicحمض ḥ amu ḍ a, "to be sour", "to become acidic".
The Torah has several commandments governing chametz during Passover:
Exodus 12:15 "Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel."
טו שִׁבְעַת יָמִים, מַצּוֹת תֹּאכֵלוּ--אַךְ בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ שְּׂאֹר מִבָּתֵּיכֶם: כִּי כָּל-אֹכֵל חָמֵץ, וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל--מִיּוֹם הָרִאשֹׁן, עַד-יוֹם הַשְּׁבִעִי
From the moment that water touches the flour made of these grains, the matzah must be rolled out and baked within 18 minutes.
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