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Samantha Siegel

Essene Bread

Sprouted Bread is also called Essene Bread. Who were the Essenes?

The Essenes were a communal, raw food, spiritual community scattered around Israel during the time of the Second Temple, with the most famous location being at the Dead Sea.

There were two major sects of Judaism during the rule of the Roman Empire. The Pharisees, who were Pro-Torah, Talmud, and traditional ways, and the Sadducees who were for reform through assimilation.  

The Essenes were above the drama.   They lived in communes outside the city, and lead lives of asceticism, voluntary poverty and physical cleanliness and purity.  They took mikvahs (ritual immersion in water) everyday and ate living foods. They dedicated their lives to fasting, prayer, and learning sacred texts.

Essenes usually did not marry, possessed no money or private property, and were strict observers of the Sabbath.  They preserved secrets of ancient knowledge and studied their sacred writings diligently.  They did not possess slaves or engage in trading.

They were raw food advocates.  They understood physical health is spiritual wealth.   They tried to focus on their inner well being rather than manipulate outside circumstances.

The earliest documented recipe of sprouted bread was found in the Essene Gospel of Peace, an Aramaic manuscript from the Ist Century A.D.   It was raw inasmuch as it was made from sprouted wheat and  baked on rocks under the hot desert sun.

“How should we cook our daily bread without fire, Master?” asked some with great astonishment.

“Let the angels of God prepare your bread. Moisten your wheat, that the angel of water may enter it. Then set it in the air, that the angel of air also may embrace it. And leave it from morning to evening beneath the sun, that the angel of sunshine may descend upon it. And the blessing of the three angels will soon make the germ of life to sprout in your wheat. Then crush your grain, and make thin wafers, as did your forefathers when they departed out of Egypt, the house of bondage.”

The Essenes understood the genius in sprouting grains, and we should all too.

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