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Food

Food, Fat, and Feminism: Navigating the Contradictions of Judaism and Food

We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the zaftig Jewish bubbe, stuffing her offspring with chicken soup and brisket, shouting, “Eat! Eat! You’re skin and bones.” We love to talk about these mythical kitchens of our childhoods—tables overflowing with kugels and babkas, tsimmus and kneidlach. But for many Jewish women, there was another, more painful, side to this abundance. Our bubbes didn’t just say, “Eat! Eat!” they also said “Why are you eating so much? You’re getting fat!” I don’t think this contradiction is unique to Judaism, but I do think there’s a distinctive cultural spin to this schizophrenic relationship to food. And considering the prevalence of eating disorders, if there are cultural roots, we need to weed them out.

Elul, my Grandma, the Tomato Hornworm, and the Talmud

Even as it’s the start of August and the middle of summer, it’s also about to be the start of the Hebrew month of Elul.

I’m particularly conscious of the timing because my Grandma died – ten years ago this month – on the last day of Av. Confusingly the last day of Av is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul; ie the day before the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, which is in fact the first day of Elul. That in turn is the first day we blow shofar, and thus the official start of the season of teshuva – of returning to our best selves. So, in honor of my grandma, and lest the holidays catch you unawares, a few things to think about in the forthcoming season of teshuva.

The Sweet Success of a Jewish Baker and Businesswoman

Chocolate Snowball. Toasted Coconut. Blackout. Raspberry Swirl. Peanut Butter Cup. White Hot Chocolate. Baba Booey. It’s hard to choose just one!

Gorging Yourself on Cheap, Coin-Shaped Candy? You Are SO Better Than That

Chanukkah (or however the heck you spell it) is a time of lighting the menorah, recounting yet another story of the resilience of the Jewish people, and celebrating miracles both great and small. It’s also a time of eating things you wouldn’t dare touch the rest of the year, letting your standards slide, and finding yourself hung over on January 1st, loathing yourself as you struggle to button your jeans.

Don’t be that person.

Pomegranate and Vanilla-Honey Parfait

Food is never simply food on a Jewish table. Rather, it’s symbolic and carries meaning that goes beyond the sum of its parts.

Honey Cake: Succulent Slice of Rosh Hashanah Heaven

There’s a spot in the morning Shacharis service that reminds us that honey can’t be added to any offering.

Be Hungry

There is an advertisement that I pass when biking to work.

Kosher, Gourmet, and Underground

Itta Werdiger Roth, a professional chef, founded The Hester, an underground, word-of-mouth music café/speakeasy/supper club in Brooklyn that fuses local food, music, and Jewish conversat

Passover recipe roundup

Tonight marks the fourth night of Passover, and you’re probably running low on leftovers from the first two nights’ seders (if you had any to begin with). Fear not!

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Food." (Viewed on December 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/food>.

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