This book deals with the Jewish engagement with blood: animal
and human, real and metaphorical. Concentrating on the meaning or
significance of blood in Judaism, the book moves this highly
controversial subject away from its traditional focus, exploring
how Jews themselves engage with blood and its role in Jewish
identity, ritual and culture.
With contributions from leading scholars in the field, the book
brings together a wide range of perspectives and covers communities
in ancient Israel, Europe and America, as well as all major eras of
Jewish history: biblical, Talmudic, medieval and modern. Providing
historical, religious and cultural examples ranging from the "Blood
Libel" through to the poetry of Uri Zvi Greenberg, this volume
explores the deep continuities in thought and practice related to
blood. Moreover, it examines the continuities and discontinuities
between Jewish and Christian ideas and practices related to blood,
many of which extend into the modern, contemporary period. The
chapters look at not only the Jewish and Christian interaction, but
the interaction between Jews and the individual national
communities to which they belong, including the complex
appropriation and rejection of European ideas and images undertaken
by some Zionists, and then by the State of Israel.
This broad-ranging and multidisciplinary work will be of
interest to students of Jewish Studies, History and Religion.
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