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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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Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives on Food and Jewishness

Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives on Food and Jewishness

(p.157) 6. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives on Food and Jewishness
Feasting and Fasting

David M. Freidenreich

NYU Press

Why should one eat—or avoid—Jewish food? What makes food “Jewish” in the first place? These questions feature prominently not only in rabbinic and other Jewish texts but also in the classical sources of Christianity and Islam. The authors of these influential works disagree over what food to eat and, more fundamentally, over what Jewishness is, but they all agree that the difference between Jews and non-Jews matters. This chapter traces the evolving relationship between Jewish identity and Jewish norms about the food of non-Jews from the Bible through the Middle Ages. It also examines premodern Catholic, Sunni, and Shiʿi norms about Jewish food, demonstrating that ideas about Jewishness play important roles in the construction of Christian and Islamic identity.

Keywords:   Jewish food, Christianity, identity, Islam, Jewishness, non-Jews, rabbinic, Catholic, Sunni, Shiʿi

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