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Body Politic

What makes a body Jewish?

February 23, 2009

Circumcision, laws governing intercourse, eugenics, big noses, fleshy lips—all of these figure somewhere into notions of Jews and their physical selves. In the new book The Jewish Body, out now from Schocken and Nextbook’s Jewish Encounters Series, anthropologist and physician Melvin Konner explores some of these ideas.

He spoke with Nextbook about physical stereotypes of Jews, the importance of purity rituals, and the rise of muscle Jewry.”

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Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast. Follow her on Twitter @saraivry.