Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. From that time until the s a vast majority of successful musical theatre composers, lyricists, and book-writers were Jewish a notable exception is the Protestant Cole Porter , who acknowledged that the reason he was so successful on Broadway was that he wrote what he called "Jewish music". One explanation of the affinity of Jewish composers and playwrights to the musical is that "traditional Jewish religious music was most often led by a single singer, a cantor while Christians emphasize choral singing.
Towards the end of Golden Age, writers also began to openly and overtly tackle Jewish subjects and issues, such as Fiddler on the Roof and Rags ; Bart's Blitz!
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Jewish playwrights have also contributed to non-musical drama and theatre, both Broadway and regional. The Association for Jewish Theater is a contemporary organization that includes both American and international theaters that focus on theater with Jewish content. It has also expanded to include Jewish playwrights. The earliest known Hebrew language drama was written around by a Jewish-Italian writer from Mantua.
Modern Hebrew theatre and drama, however, began with the development of Modern Hebrew in Europe the first Hebrew theatrical professional performance was in Moscow in  and was "closely linked with the Jewish national renaissance movement of the twentieth century. The historical awareness and the sense of primacy which accompanied the Hebrew theatre in its early years dictated the course of its artistic and aesthetic development".
Yehoshua have written Hebrew-language plays. Themes that are obviously common in these works are the Holocaust , the Arab—Israeli conflict , the meaning of Jewishness, and contemporary secular-religious tensions within Jewish Israel. The most well-known Hebrew theatre company and Israel's national theatre is the Habima meaning "the stage" in Hebrew , which was formed in in Lithuania , and re-established in in Russia; another prominent Israeli theatre company is the Cameri Theatre , which is "Israel's first and leading repertory theatre".
In the era when Yiddish theatre was still a major force in the world of theatre, over films were made in Yiddish. Many are now lost. Mayer , the Warner Brothers , David O. However, few of these brought a specifically Jewish sensibility either to the art of film or, with the sometime exception of Spielberg, to their choice of subject matter.
The historian Eric Hobsbawm described the situation as follows: . It would be Paley , respectively. These Jewish innovators were also among the first producers of televisions, both black-and-white and color. Although there is little specifically Jewish television in the United States National Jewish Television , largely religious, broadcasts only three hours a week , Jews have been involved in American television from its earliest days.
In the analysis of Paul Johnson, "The Broadway musical, radio and TV were all examples of a fundamental principle in Jewish diaspora history: Jews opening up a completely new field in business and culture, a tabula rasa on which to set their mark, before other interests had a chance to take possession, erect guild or professional fortifications and deny them entry. One of the first televised situation comedies , The Goldbergs was set in a specifically Jewish milieu in the Bronx. While the overt Jewish milieu of The Goldbergs was unusual for an American television series, there were a few other examples, such as Brooklyn Bridge — and Bridget Loves Bernie.
More recently, American Jews have been instrumental to "novelistic" television series such as The Wire and The Sopranos. Variously acclaimed as one of the greatest television series of all time, The Wire was created by David Simon. Simon also served as executive producer, head writer, and show runner.
More remarkable contributors are David Benioff and D. Jewish musical contributions also tend to reflect the cultures of the countries in which Jews live, the most notable examples being classical and popular music in the United States and Europe. Some music, however, is unique to particular Jewish communities, such as Israeli music , Israeli Folk music , Klezmer , Sephardic and Ladino music , and Mizrahi music.
Before Emancipation , virtually all Jewish music in Europe was sacred music , with the exception of the performances of klezmorim during weddings and other occasions. The result was a lack of a Jewish presence in European classical music until the 19th century , with a very few exceptions, normally enabled by specific aristocratic protection, such as Salamone Rossi and Claude Daquin the work of the former is considered the beginning of "Jewish art music". Singers included John Braham and Giuditta Pasta.
During the 20th century the number of Jewish composers and notable instrumentalists increased, as did their geographical distribution. There are some genres and forms of classical music that Jewish composers have been associated with, including notably during the Romantic period French Grand Opera. While orchestral and operatic music works by Jewish composers would in general be considered secular, many Jewish as well as non-Jewish composers have incorporated Jewish themes and motives into their music.
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Sometimes this is done covertly, such as the klezmer band music that many critics and observers believe lies in the third movement of Mahler's Symphony No. During the 20th century , however, many Jewish composers wrote music with direct Jewish references and themes, e. In the late twentieth century, prominent composers like Morton Feldman, Gyorgy Ligeti or Alfred Schnittke gave significant contributions to the history of contemporary music. Deriving from Biblical traditions, Jewish dance has long been used by Jews as a medium for the expression of joy and other communal emotions. Each Jewish diasporic community developed its own dance traditions for wedding celebrations and other distinguished events.
For Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe , for example, dances, whose names corresponded to the different forms of klezmer music that were played, were an obvious staple of the wedding ceremony of the shtetl. Jewish dances both were influenced by surrounding Gentile traditions and Jewish sources preserved over time. Jewish humor is the long tradition of humor in Judaism dating back to the Torah and the Midrash , but generally refers to the more recent stream of verbal, frequently self-deprecating and often anecdotal humor originating in Europe.
Jewish humor took root in the United States over the last hundred years, beginning with vaudeville , and continuing through radio, stand-up, film, and television. A significant number of American comedians have been or are Jewish. Compared to music or theater, there is less of a specifically Jewish tradition in the visual arts. The most likely and accepted reason is that, as has been previously shown with Jewish music and literature, before Emancipation Jewish culture was dominated by the religious tradition of aniconism.
As most Rabbinical authorities believed that the Second Commandment prohibited much visual art that would qualify as "graven images", Jewish artists were relatively rare until they lived in assimilated European communities beginning in the late 18th century. During the first centuries of the Common Era , Jewish religious art also was created in regions surrounding the Mediterranean such as Syria and Greece, including frescoes on the walls of synagogues , of which the Dura Europas Synagogue was the only survivor,  prior to its destruction by ISIL in , as well as the Jewish catacombs in Rome.
A Jewish tradition of illuminated manuscripts in at least Late Antiquity has left no survivors, but can be deduced from borrowings in Early Medieval Christian art. A number of luxury pieces of gold glass from the later Roman period have Jewish motifs. Several Hellenistic -style floor mosaics have also been excavated in synagogues from Late Antiquity in Israel and Palestine, especially of the signs of the Zodiac , which was apparently acceptable in a low-status position on the floor.
Some, such as that at Naaran , show evidence of a reaction against images of living creatures around CE. The decoration of sarcophagi and walls at the cave cemetery at Beit She'arim shows a mixture of Jewish and Hellenistic motifs. However, for a period of several centuries between about and CE there are scarcely any survivals of identifiably Jewish art.
Middle Age Rabbinical and Kabbalistic literature also contain textual and graphic art, most famously illuminated haggadahs such as the Sarajevo Haggadah , and other manuscripts like the Nuremberg Mahzor. Some of these were illustrated by Jewish artists and some by Christians; equally some Jewish artists and craftsmen in various media worked on Christian commissions. Johnson again summarizes this sudden change from a limited participation by Jews in visual art as in many other arts to a large movement by them into this branch of European cultural life:.
Again, the arrival of the Jewish artist was a strange phenomenon. It is true that, over the centuries, there had been many animals though few humans depicted in Jewish art: lions on Torah curtains, owls on Judaic coins, animals on the Capernaum capitals, birds on the rim of the fountain-basis in the 5th century Naro synagogue in Tunis ; there were carved animals, too, on timber synagogues in eastern Europe - indeed the Jewish wood-carver was the prototype of the modern Jewish plastic artist.
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A book of Yiddish folk- ornament , printed at Vitebsk in , was similar to Chagall's own bestiary. But the resistance of pious Jews to portraying the living human image was still strong at the beginning of the 20th century. There were few Jewish secular artists in Europe prior to the Emancipation that spread throughout Europe with the Napoleonic conquests. There were exceptions, and Salomon Adler was a prominent portrait painter in 18th-century Milan. The delay in participation in the visual arts parallels the lack of Jewish participation in European classical music until the nineteenth century, and which was progressively overcome with the rise of Modernism in the 20th century.
There were many Jewish artists in the 19th century, but Jewish artistic activity boomed during the end of World War I. The Jewish artistic Renaissance has its roots in the Fifth Zionist Congress, which included an art exhibition featuring Jewish artists E. Lilien and Hermann Struck. The exhibition helped legitimize art as an expression of Jewish culture. A real Jewish cultural rebirth". In most cases, however, the work and lives of these people did not exist in two distinct cultural spheres but rather in one that incorporated elements of both.
Gustav Klimt was not Jewish, but nearly all of his patrons and several of his models were. Among major artists Chagall may be the most specifically Jewish in his themes. Graphic art , as expressed in the art of comics, has been a key field for Jewish artists as well. In the Golden and Silver ages of American comic books, the Jewish role was overwhelming and large number of the medium's foremost creators have been Jewish. Max Gaines was a pioneering figure in the creation of the modern comic book when in he published the first one called Famous Funnies.
That company was also a precursor of DC Comics. In , the pulp magazine publisher Martin Goodman formed Timely Publications ,  a company to be known, since the s, as Marvel Comics. Stan Lee attributed the Jewish role in comics to the Jewish culture. At DC Comics Jewish role was significant as well; the character of Superman , which was created by the Jewish artists Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel ,  is partly based on the biblical figure of Samson. There is also a large number of Jewish characters among comics superheroes such as Magneto , Quicksilver , Kitty Pryde , The Thing , Sasquatch , Sabra , Ragman , Legion , and Moon Knight , of whom were and are influenced by events in Jewish history and elements of Jewish life.
Will Eisner was an American cartoonist and was known as one of the earliest cartoonists to work in the American comic book industry. He is the creator of the Spirit comics series and the graphic novel A Contract with God. It was widely imitated and influential, affecting satirical media as well as the cultural landscape of the 20th century, with editor Al Feldstein increasing readership to more than two million during its s circulation peak.
Jewish cooking combines the food of many cultures in which Jews have settled, including Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Spanish, German and Eastern European styles of cooking, all influenced by the need for food to be kosher. Thus, "Jewish" foods like bagels , hummus , stuffed cabbage , and blintzes all come from various other cultures. The amalgam of these foods, plus uniquely Jewish contributions like tzimmis , cholent , gefilte fish and matzah balls , make up Jewish cuisine.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Culture of Jews and Judaism. Haskalah List of Jewish philosophers. Other aspects. Symbolism Clothing Architecture. Main article: Jewish philosophy. See also: List of Jewish philosophers. Main article: Jewish education. See also: Jewish political movements and List of Jews in politics. Further information: Science and technology in Israel , Jewish medicine , and Hebrew astronomy.
See also: Category:Jewish inventors and List of Israeli inventions and discoveries. Main articles: Jewish literature and Jewish poetry. Main article: Yiddish theatre. See also: Cinema of Israel and List of Jewish film directors. Main article: Jewish music. See also: Secular Jewish music. Main article: Jewish dance. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this section , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate. April Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Main article: Jewish humor. See also: List of Jews in the visual arts. Further information: Visual arts in Israel. See also: List of Jewish American cartoonists. Stan Lee left and Jack Kirby right made a major contribution to the American comic book industry. Main article: Jewish cuisine. It is the one that would both have reflected and influenced her identity across classes and clans. Limited groups would have shared other understandings and meanings. The priesthood, for example, would have been particularly attentive to the category-formation at the foundation of these laws.
The priest, who would have eaten meat far more often than the common Israelite, would have seen the eating laws divide the animal world into pure and impure and he would have seen a perfect reflec- The biblical period 23 tion of the priestly concern for hierarchy and order. Of course, permitted to eat only the pure, the priest would have understood his obligation of cleave to the pure and hate the impure. Still, for the common Israelite, this world-view would have been less central and the symbol contained in the meat less immediate.
For him, the permissions and prohibitions would have provided a mostly theoretical guidance—to avoid evil qualities and pursue good ones. In the end, it is impossible to escape the fact that these laws would not regularly have constituted an obstacle for the Israelite to break bread and then dip it in olive oil or crushed beans with his non-Israelite neighbor. This law is not anxious to create such a separation. As Philo comments centuries later, it would have been very easy to fi nd milk from another mother.
This law could therefore have had little practical effect. It would not, in other words, have stood in the way of eating with someone who did not observe the same law. The only reason it has attracted so much comment is because of its association with the later Jewish law restricting the mixing of dairy and meat—upon which we will comment at length in chapter four. How do we explain this reality? While it is clear from biblical and archaeological sources that the population of these kingdoms during these periods contained both Israelites or Judahites and members of various Canaanite nations, the identities of the kingdoms as national kingdoms could be challenged only from the outside, not from within.
Foreign armies might threaten—and they often did—but these were threats to borders and security, not to the identity of the people. But the status of the foreigner as resident stranger, and of the Israelite as citizen at home, was little questioned—at least from the perspective of the Israelite. For this reason, the eating laws exhibited little urgency.
They reflected a condition of relatively congenial mixing and allowed for the possibility of such mixing. In the regular course of affairs, such associations need not have been resisted. But, significantly, when the Israelite or 24 Jewish eating and identity Judahite nation gathered to observe and celebrate its particular identity, be it on a weekly or seasonal basis, then and only then did the law intervene to create a reminder in practice of what that identity was.
National celebration indeed demanded separation. Life in the day-to-day did not, at least not to the same extent. The importance of this distinction—and of its connection to national conditions—will become clear in the next chapter, when we proceed to consider the eating practices of Jews in the period of the second Jerusalem Temple.
During that long period, the eating laws of Jews, at least as recorded in the literature that has survived, underwent a significant change. And the direction of the change could not be more transparent. But there will also be a new category—gentile food. When and how this category develops, and how it helps us understand a developing Jewish identity, we will see in the next chapter.
The Kingdom of Judah survived the Assyrian onslaught, but found itself under siege slightly more than a century later, when the Babylonian army progressed against the Judean territories. In —, the fi rst Judean exiles were removed to Babylon. Thirteen years later, the great Jerusalem Temple was destroyed and the last wave of exiles was on its way to a new, foreign home. Some of the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of these exiles were permitted to return to their ancestral home in the latter part of the same century.
Other descendants found their way back to Judea in the middle of the next century. But Jewish independence would not be recovered until the time of the Maccabees, centuries later. The territory on which these Jews lived continued to be ruled by foreigners—fi rst Persians and then Greeks. Under foreign rule—and particularly after the Hellenization of the Near East—many foreigners made their homes along the military and trade routes that traversed the northern valleys and hugged the coast. During this period, Jews in Judea and its environs were constantly being challenged to reconsider the nature of their identities in relation to their new neighbors.
Jewish practice and belief were contested regularly, as Jews divided into a variety of competing parties or sects. Others were not later canonized by Jews, but were nevertheless preserved by different groups. This is apparently coincidental; there is no reason to conclude that Jews in the early second Temple period were less concerned with eating regulations than those in later centuries.
It would probably be correct to say, in fact, that the best testimony to Jewish eating practice in the early second Temple period is the Torah itself. But the literature that begins speaking in the late third century and beyond makes it clear that there is more to contemporary eating customs than the Torah. In its present form, it dates from the early Maccabean period c. But its fi rst several chapters apparently preserve stories of a traditional hero by the name of Daniel, which may have originated centuries before the fi nal redaction of the book.
Included in the group are Daniel and three colleagues. Instead, Daniel asks that they be provided with vegetables and water. Thus, the author of this text clearly wants to extend Jewish eating restrictions beyond what the Torah would require. The latter factor is certainly not relevant here, for the narrative scenario does not allow for friendly fraternizing. The author evidently wants to mark as prohibited both food cooked in the foreign court and wine produced in foreign vats. Vegetables, unaffected by and therefore unmarked by foreign culture, remain permitted.
Another Jewish book written in roughly the same period supports and clarifies the same taboo. The book of Tobit tells the story of another Jewish exile, the namesake of the book, who fi nds himself exiled in Nineveh. And because I was mindful of my God with my whole being, the Most High granted me favor and good standing with Shalmaneser.
Here we read the story of another Jew in exile who has or, in the case of Daniel, develops a relationship with the king Tobit goes on to report that he was the royal purchasing agent. And this Jew also has concerns about the food he and his brethren eat in this exilic environment. His concern is described rather explicitly: he wants to avoid gentile food.
So the trouble is not with the substance of the food, but with the fact that the food is the food of gentiles. Merely because it is the food of gentiles, Tobit believes Jews should avoid it. True, Tobit reports that his compatriots fail to observe his eating piety, suggesting that he stands apart in his avoidance. But other books from this same general period make it clear that Tobit—or the pietistic author who represents him—does not, in fact, stand alone.
You must, therefore, never eat with them, because eating together is the opposite of distance. Unlike what we read in Daniel, there is no indication that their food as such is polluted. But the leap is not a big one. The context does not permit us to determine exactly what might have been among the delicacies that Judith was offered. But one thing is clear: she does not see fit to pick among the options. And, as we imagine the ancient context, it is inconceivable that there would not have been any food acceptable to a pious Jew following the law of the Torah.
For that reason, alone, its consumption would be considered an offense. The practice of avoiding gentile food, attested in these several works, is an extremely significant development. The taking of food, it has often been noted, is far more than an act of mere self-sustenance. It is, at the same time, a social act—an act that creates and cements bonds between those who share a meal. If I eat with you, I declare that I am socially involved with you in a way that is far more profound than, say, the exchange of words in the marketplace.
Moreover, if I take your food, I indicate thereby that I am willing to place myself—symbolically and even literally—in your debt. Thus, to say that a Jew should not eat gentile food is to declare that certain kinds of vital social relations between Jew and non-Jew must be avoided.
And to say that a Jew should not partake of gentile food even in the absence of the gentile—that is, merely because he has provided it—is to declare that social indebtedness to the gentile must be shunned. The message of avoidance contained in the law may be supplemented by another, less pragmatic communication. This is, at fi rst blush, rather a startling claim: that the food of gentiles is defiling or disgusting merely because it is their food—because they have prepared it or served it. This is effectively to say that the gentile is defi ling and by virtue of having prepared a food-substance she or he has caused it to be defi ling.
A Jew who believed and observed this would be significantly restricted in the sorts of relations he could have with his gentile neighbor. And, even when involved with his neighbor, he would understand that that neighbor, like any gentile, is a potential source of defi lement. They would say, in effect, that the Jew must eat what she is—Jewish food for the Jewish person.
The Jew, observing these restrictions, would see herself as somehow apart, living among gentiles, perhaps, but not fully part of them. And the gentile observer would understand the same message: the Jew who refuses to eat my food remains somehow foreign, despite his being my neighbor. As far as we can discern, the works reporting this development came to formation, mostly if not exclusively, in Judea in the second century BCE.
Archaeology has shown how ubiquitous was the cultural presence of Hellenism during this period, even, ironically, under restored Jewish hegemony. Indeed, the books that bear the names of these new Jewish rulers, Maccabees I and II, testify unambiguously to the profound Hellenization of the Jewish elite. How, in such an environment, could a Jewish identity be maintained?
One answer, it seems clear, is the new eating regulations attested in these contemporary documents. The writers of these documents—pietists all—sought to create a bulwark against incursions on Jewish identity by declaring all gentiles defi ling and all gentile foods prohibited. The Jew who fully observed these new restrictions would, of course, be practically separated from intimate contact with gentiles and more dependent upon the graciousness of Jewish friends and neighbors.
Moreover, if he absorbed the attitude implicit in the practice, he would have avoided gentiles merely because they were gentiles. Sources of defi lement are, after all, to be shunned. But we must be cautious in judging the actual consequences of these developments. These books may speak for only small numbers of particularly pious in their own eyes Jews. We can have no idea of how widely these new restrictions were observed.
On the contrary, they seem to have enjoyed such food with great regularity. This is not to say that these same common Jews ate biblically prohibited foods. In reality, they may have refused such foods when presented with them—which would have occurred infrequently—and still enjoyed food prepared by their non-Jewish neighbors. Moreover, even the pious few, reported to be avoiding all gentile foods, were at the same time represented as involved in important contacts with their gentile hosts or neighbors.
Thus, whatever the symbolic or pragmatic implications of the gentile food restrictions, it is evident that even those who observe them can build significant ties with the non-Jews amongst whom they live. Indeed, we may wonder whether, in reality, it is those Jews who have the opportunity to cross cultural or national bridges who are most in need of the boundary reinforcements that these restrictions constitute.
Being drawn into the gentile sphere with one hand, they seek to distance themselves with the other. All we can be sure of in evaluating this evidence is that some Jews during this period, aspiring leaders, effective or not, sought to protect Jewish identity by prohibiting the food of the non-Jew. In their judgment, marking the food of the gentile as taboo, as defi ling, would encourage Jewish avoidance of him and his ways. That their success was partial is proved by the increasingly Hellenized Jewish population that would be found in Palestine in the centuries to follow. While it may be true that, as Milgrom argues see p.
It is but one of many outlawed species. But in the latter part of the period at hand—that is, by the early fi rst century CE, at the very latest—the pig has become the hated species par excellence. This development, which has long attracted comment and interpretation, is worthy of further attention. Gentile writers are perhaps the fi rst to notice—in writing, at least—the unique place of pork in the Jewish system of eating taboos. Epictetus, who lived in the latter half of the fi rst century until CE, also knows of the Jews particular avoidance of swine flesh Stern, And his contemporary, Plutarch, writes of the Jewish avoidance of pig at length Stern, — Early Jewish sources are somewhat less yielding in their testimony to this new reality.
The fi rst writings to speak of swine—in isolation from other animals—as a hated species are I and II Maccabees both written, at approximately the same time, in the latter part of the second century BCE. Again, it is not clear whether swine is singled out in this statement because of its already established status as particularly hated, or this was merely the flesh which, in the awareness of the author, was preferred for gentile cultic slaughter.
Rabbinic sources, beginning with the Mishnah CE , are well aware of the unique status of the pig. Reportedly, during the war between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, one party encamped within the Temple compound in Jerusalem while the other attacked—at fi rst unsuccessfully—from the outside. Conquest came only when those in the Temple were tricked into raising pigs into the Temple compound or, to be more specific, half way up the surrounding wall. An early rabbinic midrash unwittingly suggests an answer. Certainly, the prohibition of pork is no more arbitrary or illogical than the prohibition of other animals!
The answer must be that pork was the prohibited meat that was actually available to lust after. If we assume that pork was their meat, that is, the meat commonly enjoyed by gentile neighbors of the Jews and therefore identified with them, then this midrash will make immediate sense. So too, of course, will the place of pig as the uniquely reviled species of their day. Indeed, pig was meat in classical antiquity. Oxen were primarily work animals, sheep and goat were kept for wool and cheese. The rest were primarily of academic interest, the pig was a presence and potentially a temptation.
But it was also, crucially, their meat—ubiquitously so. As we discussed earlier in this chapter, Palestine, in the second century BCE, saw rising numbers of Hellenized soldiers, traders and other residents within its territories. Notably, pork was a mainstay of the Hellenistic—and later, Roman—diet. By contrast, in the centuries before the Hellenistic conquest, local peoples in Palestine rarely consumed pork Hesse and Wapnish , , As this awareness grew, pork could grow into a symbol—it could be viewed more and more prominently as the food of the other.
At the same time, during the persecutions of Antiochus, pork was used as the test of Jewish loyalty. In the larger culinary context, this surely would have helped push Jews to avoid pork with a particular passion. If this is the food that represents acceptance of Hellenistic cultural hegemony, then—in the minds of the pious—this is the food that must be shunned at all costs.
The literature from this period suggests that, with small sectarian peculiarities, the Jewish eating laws, observed or not, were those spelled out in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages (Routledge Advances in Sociology)
The only question for contemporary Jews—at least of the intellectual, Hellenized variety—was how these laws were to be interpreted. The general purpose of these laws is, he writes, to assure that Jews will not mix with other nations and thus remain pure in body and soul More specifically, he claims that the birds permitted to Jews are domestic and distinguished by their purity, and they eat only grains and vegetables They also steal small animals kids, lambs from their rightful owners.
The requirement of a split hoof he understands to represent the division between good and evil, and the recommendation that Israel aspire to be righteous. It also symbolizes the separation of Israel from the nations—desirable because of the impurity and corruption of those nations. Memory, of course, is crucial for the educated man, the man who will be characterized by the qualities of the philosophical Greek. Writing approximately two centuries later, Philo of Alexandria suggests similar interpretations:.
But as it seems the fi rm conception of such ideas is of no advantage to him unless he is able to discriminate between and to distinguish which of contrary things it is right to choose and which to avoid, of which the parting of the hoof is the symbol The Special Laws, IV, —8. But the point of all this is not to examine the interpretations of these authors. It is to observe that, as far as they know, the only laws regulating The second temple period 35 Jewish diet are those found explicitly in the Torah. Upon reflection, that this should be the case is not surprising.
This was the period when, after centuries of formation and accretion, the Torah, along with the historical and classical prophets, had achieved their canonical form. This was the period when these books were accepted as authoritative by the majority of Jews. This was the period when the laws they describe defi ned the life of Jewry, individually and as a nation. In fact, the agreement of these two authors, one living in the late-second century BCE, probably in Alexandria, and the other in the early fi rst century, also in Alexandria, attests to the reality of biblical authority.
Despite the passage of centuries, despite the long influence of Hellenistic culture, both understand that to be a Jew means to observe these laws regulating diet. And both understand that the single authoritative source of such laws is the Torah, as recorded and available to Israel as a whole. Interpretations might vary—the culture that influences these interpretations might change as well—but the Torah defines the unity of Israel, across time and we must assume across space. The persistence of the biblical law throughout this period is noteworthy precisely because of its persistence, that is, because of the apparent absence of developments relating to the biblical law itself.
True, some Jews tried to outlaw all gentile food, but it is difficult to ascertain how widely this taboo was observed. And, as we saw, pig attained a special status as prohibited flesh, but this was a matter of rebalancing, not a genuine innovation. Aside from these two developments — undeniably significant as they are — Jewish practices seem to have remained static, at least so far as they are reflected in the literature.
The significance of this stasis will be evident only in the next chapters, describing developments during the rabbinic period. When seen in the mirror of difference, the relative sameness of the Second Temple period will be striking. To appreciate the coming change, it is necessary to note often overlooked testimony to what, until at least the early fi rst century of the Common Era, remained the same.
At a later time, this law will undergo a change so significant that it will, in its new form, come to constitute the centerpiece of Jewish eating practice for centuries to come. In this matter, the record of Philo is probative. And if any one should desire to dress flesh with milk, let him do so without incurring the double reproach of inhumanity and impiety. There are innumerable herds of cattle in every direction, and some are every day milked by the cowherds, or goatherds, or shepherds, since, indeed, the milk is the greatest source of profit to all breeders of stock, being partly used in a liquid state and partly allowed to coagulate and solidify, so as to make cheese.
So, that, as there is a great abundance of lambs, and kids, and all other kinds of animals, the man who seethes the flesh of any one of them in the milk of its own mother is exhibiting a terrible perversity of disposition. And what he says about what the law of Moses does or does not require is perfectly clear. Because milk, the fi rst sustainer of young life, represents life, it must not be used to prepare the dead flesh of the former life it was meant to sustain.
Such a combination would be perverse not only because of its symbolism but also because it is so easy to avoid this combination. There is milk available in abundance from the multitude of flocks that are found in any civilized dwelling place. If one—a Jew—wants to cook the flesh of a slaughtered young animal in milk, he can easily fi nd milk with which to do so, milk that does not come from the mother of the same animal.
Crucially, there is no problem with cooking fl esh in milk—let alone with eating meat and dairy together. Its symbolism speaks louder than its practical application. This view has been subject to challenge for decades and it is now deemed insupportable. In all probability, observant Jews did not cook young animals in the milk of their own mothers. But they ate meat prepared with dairy without compunction. By way of conclusion, we return to a characterization suggested earlier. A Jew in the late second Temple period was a person whose unique identity was defi ned by the law of the Torah of Moses.
Her festivals were centered in the Temple, as the Torah commanded. And her diet was circumscribed by the pure and impure species list of Leviticus-Deuteronomy, by the prohibition of consuming blood, and by the thrice-repeated prohibition concerning the mother and the kid. Of course, we do not know how completely the masses of Jews observed these ordinances. But even when they observed them completely and meticulously, the limitation they imposed was relatively narrow.
As we observed in the prior chapter, it was possible for one who respected the eating regulations to share considerable social intercourse—even over food—with his non-Jewish neighbors. Seeing the temptations of foreign cultures as a threat, they sought to build a high wall, one that made intimate contact impossible. But surely not all Jews agreed with this strategy, and many must have been perfectly at home sharing food with Greek or Roman neighbors.
Such were condemned by the likes of the author of Tobit.
But theirs was a different path. But we also witness the beginning of a debate for that identity, one that asks two questions: What should be our relationship to our neighbors? And when and to what degree can we supplement the law the Torah that serves as our constitution? These were good, crucial, abiding questions, questions that would continue to command Jewish attentions for centuries to come.
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In addition to the identified and well-known sects—Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, etc. This was the world into which Jesus was born, into which Rome stepped in her arrogant glory. No one living in the early fi rst century could have imagined how events would conspire to confuse matters still further—and to challenge Jewish identity as it had never been challenged before. And no one living at the same time could have imagined what would be identified as Judaism only a few centuries later.
Roman administrative incompetence accompanied by a powerful Jewish spirit of independence led to revolt and war. In the year 70, Jerusalem was captured and the Temple destroyed; the last battle of the war came but a few years later. The Jewish identity that, motivated by Deuteronomy, saw the Temple as the necessary center, refused to yield to the new reality. In dreams and prayer, Jews hoped for restoration with the rebuilt Temple standing in all its glory. For the non-Jew, it must have been impossible to appreciate how powerful this hope was. The war was arduous, and the Romans along with the Jews suffered great losses.
But never again would Rome misjudge the Jewish capacity for spirited resistance. To suppress the Jewish hope, Rome razed Jerusalem and replaced it with a Roman encampment. Those Jews who survived were forbidden to remain in Judea, and the Galilee became the undisputed center of the Jewish population in Palestine. It was in this Galilee, a multi-cultural territory with a mixed population, that successor Judaisms, whatever they might be, would have to emerge.
The complexity of the Galilee in the second century would be a powerful contributor to the dynamics of identity in this next period. As a consequence, this 40 Jewish eating and identity territory was the home, whether short or long term, of multiple foreign populations and cultures. Its cities were genuinely cosmopolitan; Sepphoris is only one of many good examples of this reality. This meant that, outside of isolated villages in the hills and valleys, it was impossible to escape exposure to—and the influence of—the multifarious cultures of the region.
The record of archaeology leaves no room for question in this regard. Each population adapted from the forms of its neighbors. Hence, for example, synagogue floors were decorated with conventional Roman icons, and Jewish burials were characterized by many typical Roman forms and rituals. Who was a Jew and what were to be his or her practices? And, against all this, the traditional center, commanded by the Torah, lie in ruin, the traditional leadership, now without a base, was rendered impotent.
These were confusing times, when the future of Jewish form and expression could not be known. It was in the context of this Galilean mixture that a new community of religious adepts, the rabbis, began to formulate and promulgate their version of Judaism. Their fi rst formulation, already a massive, meticulous work, was the Mishnah—a corpus of law and opinion intended to shape the practices of Jews in their mundane and not-so-mundane lives.
The Mishnah does, naturally, defi ne many of the laws shaping Jewish eating practice—according to rabbinic understanding, in any case. But before we examine those laws, we must fi rst understand for whom they were relevant. Whose identity, in other words, is reflected in the practices to which the Mishnah gives voice? The rabbis began as a small group of scholars in master-disciple circles sometime in the fi rst century.
By the late second century, the rabbis themselves still amounted to a small number of individuals, certainly no more than a few hundred. They surely had followers, other Jews who were attracted by rabbinic discipline or reputation. But altogether, the rabbis can have served as authorities for a small percentage of the local population— and for almost no one beyond the Galilee itself. We learn little about the identity of second-third century Jews in general from its pages. But we do gain significant insights into the identity of the rabbinic movement itself—the movement that would, after the passage of several centuries, come to defi ne virtually all of Judaism, in Palestine, Babylonia, and far beyond.
The eating laws of the rabbis are divided primarily between three Mishnaic tractates. We will begin our examination of the rabbis and their rules with tractate Hullin and, more particularly, with the regulations concerning dairy and meat. It provides no source for the prohibition nor seeks to justify it in any other way. The structure it is necessary to defi ne, the foundation is simply taken for granted. The newness of this rabbinic prohibition becomes apparent not only against the background of Philo and other Second Temple witnesses none of which knew of this prohibition, as we saw in the previous chapter , but also upon examining the confused state of pertinent regulations even in centuries to come.
By virtue of the later rabbinic habit of seeking consistency in this authoritative source of Jewish law, the reality of this confusion has mostly been overlooked. The relevant gemara beginning at Hullin b comments upon the following Mishnah: Fowl may be placed on the table with cheese but may not be eaten [with it]—these are the words of the school of Shammai. But the [masters of the] school of Hillel say: It may not be placed nor eaten. At this stage of the development of the law and continuing for several centuries the law is not yet decided.
Fowl therefore demands separate scrutiny, and possibly different practices and restrictions, in the earliest talmudic deliberations. Agra, the father-in-law of R. Yitzhaq the son of R. Mesharshya went to the house of R. They brought him cheese and he ate, [then] they brought him meat and he ate, and he did not wash his hands!
They said to him: But did not Agra, the father-in-law of R. He said to them: These words [apply] at night, but during the day I can see. This is, from the perspective of later Jewish practice, a rather puzzling exchange, one that has provoked a good deal of learned commentary. But if we make no assumptions about what each step must mean or about what each person must be saying, we actually learn quite a bit about the then contemporary state of practice concerning the separation of meat and dairy.
In step 1, we learn that, in the opinion of Agra, the fl esh of fowl may be eaten before or after cheese without taking any additional steps or precautions. Merely refraining from eating fowl and cheese at the same moment is sufficient to fulfi ll the requirements of the law. Having fi nished one, a person may eat the other without waiting and without doing anything else to establish separation. In step 3, those residing in the house of R. Yitzhaq, who ate one after the other without doing so, must, therefore, have acted improperly.
But R. Notably, the order in which one eats these foods seems not to be a factor in this discussion. In steps 1 and 3, flesh is mentioned fi rst. In step 2—the story of what transpired in R. The talmudic exchange attributes no significance to this distinction. In fact, if order mattered, then we would have expected R. So, it seems clear, what this deliberation says about requirements for separation applies whatever the order of the consumption of the food. If meat and cheese may be eaten at night providing that the hands are washed and the mouth wiped, then this is true even if the meat is eaten fi rst.
And if meat and cheese may be eaten during the day when the hands are clean, then this is true even if the meat is eaten fi rst. Taken at face value, this text seems to The rabbinic period 43 describe a state of affairs according to which requirements for separating meat and dairy are minimal and the law in general is quite lenient.
The next brief exchange, while proposing other methods of separation, supports the conclusion that separation is actually rather a simple affair: 1. So, that which R. Like the School of Shammai! According to the fi rst record of their opinions, the School of Shammai prefers or, according to one interpretation, allows wiping with bread, using a neutral food to eliminate the remains of the prior, categorized food and the School of Hillel prefers rinsing with water.
We do not learn why each party prefers the stated method. Wiping or rinsing will both suffice. In view of the fact that this deliberation follows immediately in the footsteps of the one examined earlier, it would be reasonable to conclude that this debate pertains to making a separation between dairy and meat when eaten at night, in whatever order.
But even if we want to argue that this section is adding to the terms of the prior discussion, by suggesting, perhaps, that the mouth must always be cleaned in one way or another even during the day , we still have no reason to imagine that such a cleaning is effective only if the foods are eaten in one order but not another. This exchange, therefore, would serve to support our reading of the prior one, giving evidence that the lenient positions articulated there are supported by the opinions of earlier authoritative parties.
The crucial passages are these: 1. Asi asked R. Yohanan: How long must one wait between [eating] meat and cheese? He said to him: Not at all. Is this so? But did not R. Hisda say: If one ate meat, he is forbidden to eat cheese, [but] if he ate cheese, he is permitted to eat meat. Rather [R. Asi, in step 1, must really have asked]: How long must one wait between cheese and meat? We must address both matters simultaneously in order to ascertain the state of the law. In the fi rst steps, R. The reason, I would suggest, is because both faced the same challenge: to tell the story of the Jews in a manner that would attract the interest of their American students and would earn them legitimacy in the newly opening secular university.
Each man stood at the beginning of his career nervously trying to define himself as a scholar. They needed to develop an appropriate terminology, construct a convincing narrative, and disseminate a new teleology—in short, they had to popularize a new periodization of Jewish history. I know how they felt, because I have faced the challenge my entire academic life. See for example William H. This book, with its probing analysis of the cultural nuances of shifting Jewish cultures, deserves far more attention than it has received so far.
Weiss asked me about the topic of our deliberations. When I told him, he laughed and spoke about his own sense of chronological dislocation, having grown up in a tiny village in southern France near Perpignan where the rhythms of rural life seemed timeless. All of this had changed for him when he moved to Berlin where, as he put it, the food was horrible, and the air smelled bad. We make a mistake, it seems to me, if we restrict our discussions of chronology to elitist and intellectualist theories and forget the biographical realities in which they are grounded.
Weinstein Memorial Lectures at the Library of Congress, ed. David N. Myers and William V. The older they get the weirder they look in retrospect. At his death, Baron had managed to complete only eighteen of the twenty-two announced volumes of the project. From all accounts Baron dominated the world of Jewish historical scholarship in New York City and by extension in the United States for many decades. His position at Columbia University gave his opinion considerable weight, as did his prolific output.
Sadly, his attempt at bibliographical comprehensiveness and his style of writing have been overtaken especially by new information technologies, and his multi-volume history- cum -bibliography has today lost much of its academic influence. Haener, , cf. I have emended that English translation slightly in order to recapture the confrontation of religious and secular terminologies in the French original. I do not, of course, intend to dismiss important questions of conservative and liberal, constitutional theory, and ethnic or economic justice that have led us to challenge the primacy of the nation state.
My intent is only to remind the reader that past advocates of various forms of national identity including the Jews who will be my subject did in fact believe that they were advocating for a better world. That said, the serious challenge to Jewish traditional identity by the offer of a common human identity based on a universal set of rational categories is unquestionable.
Beyond meat and milk: Jewish eating through the ages up for discussion in Fairfield - Jewish Ledger
The deplorable present condition of the Jews and their religion was attributed to the persecution they had suffered at Christian hands, but it was never questioned. Over the next several years Wessely would defend his positions in a series of four pamphlets —85 , and the entire collection was subsequently republished several times over the next century with various added texts Vienna: ; Warsaw: The French translation, it may come as no surprise, was by Berr Isaac Berr, the same activist whom we mentioned already.
A complete annotated English translation remains a scholarly desideratum; a brief excerpt is available in Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz, eds. The term is used in rabbinic literature to refer specifically to non-Jewish laws, while in medieval philosophical literature it takes on the added sense of norms which are specifically human and conventional as opposed to divine in origin.
I use the term here to refer to those highly literate strata among Jews and non-Jews —we might call them intellectuals—whose discourse sometimes intersected over sets of common vocabularies, texts, objectives and standards. The development of Hebrew language usage in the early modern period can serve as an important—and so far underexplored—key to Jewish intellectualism not only of maskilim in central Europe but also in the Sephardic diaspora stretching from Palestine to Amsterdam and beyond. His moralistic Sefer ha-Hayim, written in but first published in Cracow —93; reprinted in Amsterdam —13 , also opted for the Torah of Man over the elitist Torah of God.
Of course, the sixteenth-century rabbi was using the terms quite differently than was Wessely, understanding the Torah of Man as the rules of daily conduct incumbent on the pious Jew while reserving the Torah of God for more abstract, theological, concepts contained in kabbala and philosophy. One might imagine Wessely picking up this phrase from pietistic discourse with a bit of a twinkle in his eye. Nevertheless, what is significant is that the phrase was well established in rabbinic literature as was its implicit hierarchical division of Jewish education and practice.
Wessely was intentionally building on firm foundations. The phrase recurs as part of the Jewish discussions about curriculum and the relative weight of gentile and Jewish knowledge systems; see for example the commentary to Proverbs 1 in Rabbi Hayyim ben Attar, Rishon le-Tsiyon Istanbul: ; fol. There were other Jewish solar and lunar calendar systems. For their relation to other calendars of the surrounding societies see Mark E.
On the institutional power of the medieval geonic academies in the Middle East and the twelfth-century Maimonidean arguments against that authority, see G. In general, however, the conditions of the diaspora have not easily tolerated any all-encompassing claim to authority within the Jewish world. In such cases, not only specific concepts but the entire structure of received wisdom were challenged. For their part, Jews told a rather cumbersome tale of a mis-directed dinner invitation to demonstrate that the punishment was over a lack of brotherly love and common courtesy among Jews.
They also rejected the Muslim doctrine of tahrif which argued that the Koran was the truest and purest version of Scripture and that Jews had falsified their scriptures. In my review of that work Religion and Literature 47, no. Moses ben Maimon, for example, uses it to justify citing the books of the philosophers. The call for historical content is on page 2f. The anonymous letter is on page 9f. It should be noted that the literary history of biography and autobiography in Hebrew literature is itself a complicated story. The idea that medieval Jews abandoned the study of history, emphasized by Yosef H.
See, for example, David N. Myers and David B. Ruderman, eds. I hope to deal with this further in another context. Jewish feelings of community are assumed to be tied to the possibility of political action, and the centrality of anti-Semitism as the target of national identity is for her a given. Koppel S. Pinson Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, , — For them, history was and would be a constant and presumably never-ending, struggle of good and evil.
This is linked to their conception of the nation as the agent of history and thus to their understanding of Jewish national identity. Cohen, eds. Olms, —76 edited by Valerio Verra is the most recent edition of the German text. On this and his sense of how he must appear to his readers, see Autobiography, especially xv and — Peter Burke and R.
Jahrhundert Berlin, — Thus, for example, the young American Jewish writer and poet Delmore Schwartz commissioned himself on reaching metaphoric adulthood to tell the agonizing tales of his own Jewish family while, prophet-like, he announces the coming doom. A generation later, Philip Roth would reframe Judaism into a social mission by imagining his character Noel Klugman sic!
The model of the protean cultural trickster is taken from the world of Native American mythologies described by anthropologists including Franz Boas and Paul Radin, and then taken up by psychologists like Carl Jung. Jung reminds us of analogies to the medieval carnival with its reversal of hierarchical order and to the alchemical figure of Mercurius.
The trickster as daring subverter of social norms has also been found in Spanish Golden Age drama e. More recently, the trickster has become an important tool for literary scholars interested in examining the heroic roles of subaltern characters. It is my argument that the topos can be usefully applied also to Jewish historians operating in the language and framework of western universities. Greene argues that the Americans were consciously modelling themselves on the German model; see especially chapter 4. This disciplinary shift itself deserves further investigation.
It is a very interesting, thought provoking and learned article. However, sometimes it is not so easy to follow the thread, especially to the end and in paragraphs where you bring in a lot of context. To say it with reference to chronologics and periodization, I have the impression that you talk rather about Jews facing their historical contexts and historical identities; and changing their assessments. Periodization itself, consciously conceiving the temporal structures within the the narratives of our past, is not so central; and need not be, since it is a good and helpful article.
But shortening some paragraphs could make the focus on periodization clearer. I checked the site, but did not find the prospectus mentioned in FN 43 maybe my problem, but others could have it, too. And could you check the spelling of Biografie der grossen undzer Nottigen — I do not undertand the last word.
My impression that the rhetoric of history and the insertion into historical times matters a lot, but not so much periodization and its terminology although I agree that we do not only have to look at elitist publications — yet, I am afraid, periodization [unlike chronological dis-locations] is an elitist project. This is a very intriguing aspect. In section 9: …. Could you discuss this relevance to chronologies more detailed? You must be logged in to post a comment.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. This academic blog shows the open peer review of the edited volume "Chronologics. Periodisation in a Global Context. Huang Yongping: La Carte du Monde. This piece of art presents a globe that is peeled like an orange and pinned with dates of predicted natural disasters until Photo credits: Huang Yongping. Part 2. Preprint Bernard D. As Jews declared regularly in their synagogue liturgy: On account of our sins, we were exiled from our country and driven away from our land, and we are not able to go up [on pilgrimage to Jerusalem] and [perform the commandment] to be seen [in the Temple] and to bow down before You, nor to perform our obligatory [sacrifices] in the house that You chose, that great and sacred house named for You […].
Already in Nahal Besor, the prospectus for their new periodical, Ha-Measef , they announced their intention to publish biographies of great men of Israel Biografie der grossen undzer Nottigen , rabbis and great scholars of the land, leaders and those famous for knowledge, from among the honored merchants and the wealthy among the people who maintain the house of Israel with pediments of silver, and who stand before kings to speak well of their people. In a letter to his young son back in Provence this itinerant intellectual bemoans his personal and cultural isolation: My heart is hollow within me when I remember you, and my body will not rest easy until I am with you….