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Jews at HomeThe Domestication of Identity$
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Simon J. Bronner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113461

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.001.0001

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The Dualities of House and Home in Jewish Culture

The Dualities of House and Home in Jewish Culture

(p.1) Introduction The Dualities of House and Home in Jewish Culture
Jews at Home

Simon J. Bronner

Liverpool University Press

This introductory chapter lays out two related dimensions of the Jewish home: the physical and the metaphysical. Calling a house a home suggests an emotional connection to it that has been constituted by the shared history of the building and its occupants. When residents refer to a ‘Jewish home’, they may define their domiciles socially as Jewish because their families live there, but a cultural question is how ‘Jewishness’ is materially expressed to themselves and to others. Inside the house, artefacts of home religious observance — often designated as specifically for the sabbath, Hanukah, or Passover — are often displayed and described by families as markers of identity, as well as being used for rituals. The chapter goes on to explore how the Jewish home is expressed through its interiors and exteriors; through feelings, practices, and performances; and through the domestic sphere and the domestication of identity.

Keywords:   Jewish home, Jewishness, at-homeness, domesticity, household objects, domestication, Jewish identity

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