Online journal (www.statoechiese.it)
Online from january 2007
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Ebraismo e cibo: un binomio antico e nuove tendenze alla prova del multiculturalismo

SOMMARIO: 1. Introduzione - 2. Le regole alimentari nel contesto israeliano e l’irrisolto dualismo (anche simbolico) tra identità collettiva nazionale e religiosa - 3. L’approccio europeo al Kashrut e la questione della macellazione rituale - 4. Le relazioni tra precetti religiosi alimentari ebraici e normativa secolare negli ordinamenti della multiculturalità - 5. Le Kasher food laws negli Stati Uniti - 6. Nota conclusiva.

Judaism and Food: an ancient binomial and the new tendencies on the background of multiculturalism

Abstract: In Judaism, religion and food have always been the terms of a strong spiritual and cultural ‘binomial’, variously affecting the community as well as the individual dimension. In Jewish religious tradition, food is at the same time an instrument of religious elevation, and it represents a powerful factor of collective identity. The paper aims at deepening this binomial in a comparative perspective that takes into consideration some specific features that seem particularly relevant.  a) The role of the Constitutional Courts in the containment of sacred law, according to the Hirshl’s perspective (I. Hirshl, 2010), and in particular the case of Israel where the scope of religious authorities’ prerogative over the issue of kashrut certificates by the Chief Rabbinate represents an important part of the struggle between secular and religious attitudes. The judicial debate on Kashrut contributes to delineate the role of the Supreme Court of Israel in responding to the increased tension between Israel’s dual commitment to liberal-democratic and Jewish values. b) The new conflictual tendencies, in the relation between food and multiculturalism, concerning kosher slaughter in Europe.  c) The relationship between Jewish dietary laws, religious liberties, the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause in the United States constitutional system.  Starting from these topics, the paper will try to argue on the manifestation in food law of the intrinsic duality in the state of Israel, together Jewish and democratic, and the reflection of this duality in the other legal systems where constitutional theocracy is prevented by constitutional provisions of secularity and pluralism, but secularism appears in various and different forms.

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