Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism

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9780521195980: Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism

Food often defines societies and even civilizations. Through particular commensality restrictions, groups form distinct identities: Those with whom "we" eat ("Us") and those with whom "we" cannot eat ("Them"). This identity is enacted daily, turning the biological need to eat into a culturally significant activity. In this book, Jordan D. Rosenblum explores how food regulations and practices helped to construct the identity of early rabbinic Judaism. Bringing together the scholarship of rabbinics with that of food studies, this volume first examines the historical reality of food production and consumption in Roman-era Palestine. It then explores how early rabbinic food regulations created a distinct Jewish, male, and rabbinic identity. Rosenblum's work demonstrates how rabbinic food practices constructed an edible identity.

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Book Description:

Food often defines societies and even civilizations. Through particular commensality restrictions, groups form distinct identities. This identity is enacted daily, turning the biological need to eat into a culturally significant activity. In this book, Jordan D. Rosenblum explores how food regulations and practices helped to construct the identity of early rabbinic Judaism. Bringing together the scholarship of rabbinics with that of food studies, this volume first examines the historical reality of food production and consumption in Roman-era Palestine. It then explores how early rabbinic food regulations created a distinct Jewish, male, and rabbinic identity.

About the Author:

Jordan D. Rosenblum is Belzer Assistant Professor of Classical Judaism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has contributed to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, the Jewish Quarterly Review, and the Journal of Jewish Studies.

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