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Feasting and FastingThe History and Ethics of Jewish Food$
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Aaron Gross, Jody Myers, and Jordan D. Rosenblum

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899333

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899333.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Feasting and Fasting

Aaron S. Gross

NYU Press

On the one hand, this book about Jewish traditions and food functions as the focal point for examining different forms of Judaism. On the other hand, this book is also a study of what we might call the religious dimensions of food and the case of Judaism serves as an exemplum. The introduction considers the advantages of understanding a religion through the detour of food and asks what counts as “Jewish food.” It argues that food in general provides a wieldy symbolic field that is called upon to construct sex and gender, social status, and race and to distinguish humans from other animals. Religion and food are always intermixed, and examining this intermixture in Judaism can provide some insights into a more-or-less universal human process of making meaning. Insights from Jewish scholars of food or food studies, including Warren Belasco, Noah Yuval Harari, Sidney Mintz, and Marion Nestle, are engaged.

Keywords:   Judaism, food, Jewish food, symbolic, sex and gender, race, animals, Warren Belasco, Noah Yuval Harari, Sidney Mintz

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