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Love, Work and DeathJewish Life in Medieval Umbria$
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Ariel Toaff

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774198

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Meat and Wine

Meat and Wine

(p.61) 3 Meat and Wine
Love, Work and Death

Ariel Toaff

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses how Jews faced particular problems in ‘carnivorous Europe’, where meat was eaten every day, servings were generous, and wine was drunk as though it were water. For Jews, consumption of meat and wine was conditional upon their preparation according to strict rules. Adherence to Jewish dietary law thus entailed waste: on the one hand, of animals which had been found to be unfit after ritual slaughter, and on the other, of remains which could not in any circumstances be eaten by Jews. As such, a Jewish community needed a far greater supply of animals than a Christian one, irrespective of the appetites or financial means of individuals. The cost of a pound of kosher meat would have been prohibitive if the relevant butcher had not been able to sell the rejected parts to Christian customers. In summary, then, the presence of a Jewish community in any town was always dependent on the regular availability of kosher meat. As with meat, Jewish law laid down precise rules defining kosher wine. Wine was inevitably found at the tables of the Italian Jews of the period, above all in such a great wine-producing and consuming area as Umbria, whose countryside is today still characterized by extensive vineyards.

Keywords:   Jewish dietary law, ritual slaughter, Jewish communities, kosher meat, Jewish law, kosher wine, Italian Jews, Umbria

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