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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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Food in the Rabbinic Era

Food in the Rabbinic Era

(p.59) 2. Food in the Rabbinic Era
Feasting and Fasting

David C. Kraemer

NYU Press

Jews continued to live in the Mediterranean region during the first ten centuries of the Common Era, and their diet remained based around the Mediterranean triad of wine, olive oil, and bread. Because the Israelite system of sacrificial worship ended at the end of the first century CE, the role of food in the economy and religion changed significantly. Religious scholars known as rabbis emerged and expanded the biblical concept of Torah and the scope of biblical law and produced an abundant literature—including the Talmud—representing their traditions, opinions, practices, and halakha (practical Jewish law). They developed food blessings and rituals for daily, Sabbath, and holiday observances as well as kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws, which restricted food choices, combinations, and foods prepared by non-Jews. By the end of this era, Jews appear to have accepted Rabbinic Judaism and were distinctive in their eating practices and food-centered rituals.

Keywords:   Jews, blessings, Israelite, sacrificial, rabbis, biblical, Torah, Talmud, halakha, kashrut

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