The Spice of Life: The Editor

The Spice of Life: Salt

"The world can exist without pepper but not without salt."
(Jerusalem Talmud, Hor. 48c)

Salt, a natural resource vital to the lives of all people, is a recurrent motif in Jewish cultural and religious life. In Biblical times, salt symbolized the making of a covenant, and played a central role in the sacrificial cult.[1] With the destruction of the Temple, the custom arose of sprinkling salt on bread over which the benediction is recited before the meal. Because of its preservative qualities, salt was attributed magical powers, affording protection against evil spirits and invoking hope for permanence and blessing: Newborns babies were rubbed with salt, and new homeowners were given the gift of bread with salt. Salt is also used in kashering meat, as it draws out the blood which is forbidden for consumption according to Jewish law.[2]

Summer reminds of the beach, the beach reminds of us of waves, and the waves of salty water. And for this reason, we devote this summer edition of (No. 32!!) to SALT.

In the Personalities section, we move on to Else Lasker-Schüler, poet, writer, artist, and an influential member of the artistic community that emerged in the first years of the 20th century. Sometimes referred to as the "Berlin Moderns" because of their important contribution to the new modernist style, members of this community included some of the greatest writers, poets, artists, critics and editors of this century.

We urge you to make use of the new Readers' Exchange — a bulletin board where readers can ask each other questions and help each other out with answers. Of course, content questions may still be sent to our Shoot column. Coming soon… Classified Ads!!

Pleasant reading and a relaxing summer!

Simcha Shtull

[1] Lev. 2:13 [back]
[2] Lev. 17:12, 14 [back]



Subscribe to the JHOM mailing list for updates.

Contact us

Tell a friend