Food and Judaism
Leonard Jay Greenspoon, Ronald Simkins, Gerald Shapiro
Creighton University Press, Jan 1, 2005 - Religion - 345 pages
Food is not simply a popularly imagined and well-known manifestation of Jewish culture. For Jews, food has been experienced as a means of exclusion, persecution, and assimilation by the larger society. Equally important, it has been an instrument of community, reparation, and renewal of identity. Food and Judaism presents a wide range of research on the history and interpretation of Jewish food practices and meanings.
This volume covers a comprehensive array of topics, including American regional manifestations of food practices from little-known Jewish communities in cities such as contemporary Brighton Beach and Memphis; a social history of Jewish food in America by the renowned expert on Jewish food, Joan Nathan; and an examination of how the American food industry appealed to early twentieth-century Jews.
Several discussions on the religious meaning and personal advantages of following a vegetarian lifestyle are considered from biblical and historical perspectives. A rescued cookbook text from the Theresienstadt concentration camp is juxtaposed with an examination of how garlic in Jewish cooking served as an anti-Semitic caricature in early modern Europe. Historical perspectives are also provided on the use of separate dishes for milk and meat, the sanctification of Hasidic foods in Eastern Europe, and "mystical satiation" as found in the medieval Kabbalah.
Leonard J. Greenspoon is a professor of classical and Near Eastern studies and theology and holds the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University. Ronald A. Simkins is an associate professor of theology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at Creighton University. Gerald Shapiro is a professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
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