Foreword Reviews

Feeding Women of the Talmud, Feeding Ourselves

Written for anyone interested in Talmudic and culinary learning, Kenden Alfond’s Feeding Women of the Talmud, Feeding Ourselves is a book to nourish your brain, spirit, and body.

The book represents a community effort, with 129 Jewish women contributing, including rabbis, Talmudic scholars, students and teachers, chefs, and home cooks. Each chapter is based on one woman character in the Talmud, including her story; information to place her story in biblical, social, and historical context; Aggadah, or modern commentary on her story; and prompts for the audience. These are followed by recipes that are either vegan or plant-based, inspired by and honoring the Talmudic subject. A note explains that the book can be used as a traditional cookbook, as a learning experience, or even as a group experience with friends or a book club.

Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi contributors are included, and the food reflects this, with dishes like Lemon, Saffron, and Barley Risotto; Corn Latkes with Mango Salsa; Grape and Lemon Squares; and Vegan Yakitori. Soups, breads, teas and tonics, stews, meals, and desserts are all included, providing plenty of inspiration and ideas. There are notes to go along with each recipe that explain the link between the recipe and its ingredients and the Talmudic character, giving each dish a sense of specialness and near sanctity.

The stories in this cookbook are diverse, featuring Talmudic characters from all walks of life; the subsequent commentary includes gender nonconforming individuals as well as women. The text is informative and thought-provoking, with plenty of citations for further reading.

Kenden Alfond has created a cookbook that is more than just a cookbook—it is a source of nourishment in a variety of ways.

Reviewed by Jaime Herndon

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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