The Sacred Table: Cre­at­ing a Jew­ish Food Ethic

Mary L. Zamore, ed.; Eric H. Yoffie, fwd.; Nigel Sav­age, preface
  • Review
By – November 29, 2011
Food is clear­ly an inte­gral part of Jew­ish cul­ture and the laws of kashrut are cen­tral to the way that Judaism deals with food. This vol­ume of essays by Reform rab­bis and Jew­ish schol­ars cel­e­brates the ide­ol­o­gy of edu­cat­ed choice” (jack­et note). Each paper address­es an aspect of our rela­tion­ship to food and to halachah. The book encour­ages lib­er­al Jews to think about kashrut and how it relates to their lives. Rather than using the rigid approach of Ortho­doxy, the authors of these essays encour­age read­ers to con­sid­er mind­ful­ness as they eat, think about eat­ing meat and what it means, con­sid­er the way the ani­mals are treat­ed, and care about the work­ing con­di­tions in the places that grow and process food. They exam­ine the infa­mous T’reifah Ban­quet that took place in 1883, the health issues relat­ed to food and its pro­duc­tion, the inequities in mod­ern soci­ety, and fast­ing. By expand­ing the para­me­ters of kashrut to include eth­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions, these essays make read­ers focus on the sanc­ti­ty of food and its impor­tance in the lives of all peo­ple. The Sacred Table is an excel­lent resource for indi­vid­u­als, edu­ca­tors, and lib­er­al synagogues.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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