Feasting and Fasting

Feasting and Fasting : The History and Ethics of Jewish Food

4.27 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20.32mm | 498.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 3 black and white illustrations
  • 1479827797
  • 9781479827794
  • 1,026,023

Review quote

An accessible, detailed look at all aspects of Jewish food ... This rich, revealing collection will appeal to scholars and foodies alike. * Publishers Weekly * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 *
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About Jonathan Safran Foer

Aaron S. Gross is an Associate Professor of Jewish Studies in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at the University of San Diego, and the Founder and CEO of the nonprofit advocacy organization, Farm Forward. He is the author of The Question of the Animal and Religion: Theoretical Stakes, Practical Implications. Jody Myers is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program at California State University, Northridge. She has written on modern religious thought and expression. She is the author of Seeking Zion: Modernity and Messianic Activism in the Writings of Tsevi Hirsch Kalischer (Littman Library, 2004) and Kabbalah and the Spiritual Quest: The Kabbalah Center in America (Praeger, 2007), as well as more than two dozen articles. Jordan D. Rosenblum is the Belzer Professor of Classical Judaism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Jewish Dietary Laws in the Ancient World and Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism, and co-editor of Religious Competition in the Third Century C.E.: Jews, Christians, and the Greco-Roman World. Hasia Diner is Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. She is the author of the award-winning We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962 (NYU Press, 2009).

Hasia R. Diner is Paul And Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History, Professor of Hebrew, and Interim Director of Glucksman Ireland House NYU.

Jonathan Safran Foer is Lillian Vernon Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at NYU, and author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Everything is Illuminated, and Eating Animals.
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Rating details

11 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 55% (6)
4 18% (2)
3 27% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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