Kosher for… Dietary traditions in Judaism
Eating is an important component of every culture – influenced by local conditions, immigrant communities, and religious traditions. More than ever today, however, it is also a question of personal identity, reflecting experiences and preferences in the life of each individual. “Is that kosher?” is a pointed question asked not only in Jewish circles. It is the starting point for an exhibition at the Jewish Museum Vienna, indicating that eating, like language, transcends cultures and borders. The exhibition sheds light on the religious and social dimensions of the term “kosher” and the economic background, creating a cultural history of the senses. One of the main focuses is Jewish festivals and their special dishes and rituals. What is challah and why is it eaten on Shabbat? What do the apple and honey at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, signify? The other sections of the exhibition deal with the global, religious, and ethnographic dimensions of the multifaceted concept of “kosher.” “The way to a person’s heart is through his stomach: global eating traditions – a matter of taste?” “Kosher and treyf: when and why is a food product or dish clean or unclean?” and “Animals and us: if God wishes, so be it – slaughtering, sacrifice, eating.”Finally, the section “Goulash at Neugröschl: a kosher history of Vienna” looks at kosher Vienna before 1938 and the not always easy task of running a kosher household and pursuing a kosher life in Vienna today.
Curators: Michal Typolt-Meczes, Hannes Etzlstorfer, Dan Michael Fischman