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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Jews Welcome Coffee

Tradition and Innovation in Early Modern Germany

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Jews Welcome Coffee

Tradition and Innovation in Early Modern Germany

Tracing the introduction of coffee into Europe, Robert Liberles challenges long-held assumptions about early modern Jewish history and shows how the Jews harnessed an innovation that enriched their personal, religious, social, and economic lives. Focusing on Jewish society in Germany in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and using coffee as a key to understanding social change, Liberles analyzes German rabbinic rulings on coffee, Jewish consumption patterns, the commercial importance of coffee for various social strata, differences based on gender, and the efforts of German authorities to restrict Jewish trade in coffee, as well as the integration of Jews into society.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What Should One Drink? • Coffee’s Social Dimensions • Coffee and Controversies in Germany • The Rabbis Welcome Coffee • Coffee in Everyday Life: Consumption, Petty Trade, and Religious Life • It Is Not Permitted, Therefore It Is Forbidden: Controversies over the Jewish Coffee Trade • If Only They Had Worn Their Cocardes: Jews, Coffeehouses, and Social Integration • Epilogue: Tradition and Innovation • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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