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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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How Ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians Drank Their Wine

How Ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians Drank Their Wine

Chapter:
(p.170) 7. How Ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians Drank Their Wine
Source:
Feasting and Fasting
Author(s):

Susan Marks

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479899333.003.0010

Wine libation practices enjoy a long history in both Jewish and non-Jewish traditions, pointing up wine’s ability to shamefully intoxicate or bring one closer to that which is holy. This chapter looks at talmudic texts and asks about the actions of those who bless birkat ha-mazon over a cup of wine, the Jewish “grace after meals” ritual. It thus differs from studies that primarily consider the text of this blessing. Shared practices, such as the ways the host assigns leadership of the wine offering, reveal ways rabbis used the customs of their day and also provide new insights into the ways that social status played out among rabbis as they dined. A final evaluation of the rabbinic choice of wine for blessing reveals one difference—rabbis offered mixed wine to their God, rather than unmixed wine, as has mostly been understood to figure in Roman libations.

Keywords:   birkat ha-mazon, blessing, grace after meals, Roman libations, ritual, rabbinic, wine, talmudic, libation, holy

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