Feasting and Fasting
The History and Ethics of Jewish Food
Published by: NYU Press
384 pages, 152.00 x 228.00 x 0.00 mm, 3 black and white illustrations
- ISBN: 9781479827794
- Published: January 2020
How Judaism and food are intertwined
Judaism is a religion that is enthusiastic about food. Jewish holidays are inevitably celebrated through eating particular foods, or around fasting and then eating particular foods. Through fasting, feasting, dining, and noshing, food infuses the rich traditions of Judaism into daily life. What do the complicated laws of kosher food mean to Jews? How does food in Jewish bellies shape the hearts and minds of Jews? What does the Jewish relationship with food teach us about Christianity, Islam, and religion itself? Can food shape the future of Judaism?
Feasting and Fasting explores questions like these to offer an expansive look at how Judaism and food have been intertwined, both historically and today. It also grapples with the charged ethical debates about how food choices reflect competing Jewish values about community, animals, the natural world and the very meaning of being human. Encompassing historical, ethnographic, and theoretical viewpoints, and including contributions dedicated to the religious dimensions of foods including garlic, Crisco, peanut oil, and wine, the volume advances the state of both Jewish studies and religious studies scholarship on food.
Bookended with a foreword by the Jewish historian Hasia Diner and an epilogue by the novelist and food activist Jonathan Safran Foer, Feasting and Fasting provides a resource for anyone who hungers to understand how food and religion intersect.
Runs the gamut from biblical to contemporary Jewish food ways and includes both historical and ethical aspects of what, how, and why Jews eat. ~Leah Hochman, University of Southern California
This is a spectacular set of essays on a wide and eclectic range of topics. They're accessible to a wide audience and further strengthen the evolving conversation about the nature of the interaction between Jewish life, food, and the wider world we live in. ~Nigel Savage, CEO, Hazon: The Jewish Lab for Sustainability
Drawing on a stellar cast of contributors, Feasting and Fasting combines an unparalleled overview of Jewish food practices from Antiquity to Agriprocessors with boundary-breaking essays on Jewish foods and foodways. This remarkable volume will excite scholars and be invaluable for adoption in Jewish history and food studies courses.” ~Roger Horowitz, author of Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food
The three courses of this book — history, culture, and ethics — are a tremendous feast, to be savored for a long time to come! ~Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, American Jewish University
An accessible, detailed look at all aspects of Jewish food ... This rich, revealing collection will appeal to scholars and foodies alike. ~Publishers Weekly
Anyone interested in Jewish food who reads these seven essays will emerge with plenty of points for further discussion [...] As a broad-based collection touching on many of the subspecialties, it should provide genuine 'food for thought' leading to further readings on specific topics. ~Tradition
This wide-ranging discussion of the history, philosophy, religion, and origins of Jewish culinary traditions should be in any serious culinary and Jewish history collection. ~Midwest Review of Books
Gathers a dream team of Jewish studies scholars whothank you!raise their heads from texts to focus on the meanings, rituals, conflicts, power dynamics, and pleasures of the material of food in the Jewish diaspora. . . . The book that follows considers the diversity of complex and often fraught relationships among food, Jews, and Others, across time and place, from biblical to supermarket aisle. It serves to initiate scholars of Judaism in the world of food studies and, for food scholars, richly informs studies of Jewish foodways. ~Jonathan Deutsch, Co-author of Jewish American Food Culture
A fascinating account of the history of Jewish food, within and outside of dietary laws. . . . Crisco is for Jews? Peanut oil caused such debates? Who knew. This book is a great read. ~Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor and Professor Emerita, New York University
A fascinating look at food from a variety of different angles … the essays were all well written and absorbing. Anyone interested in food studies or Jewish history will want to read this book. ~Jewish World
Feasting and Fasting is a fascinating look at food from a variety of different angles… Anyone interested in food studies or Jewish history will want to read this book. ~The Reporter