A taste of honey: Metaphorizing nature in traditional Jewish Art

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The production and consumption of honey have inspired linguistic and visual metaphors in letters, folk customs, and the plastic arts. The images conveying the honey metaphor in medieval and modern Jewish art emphasized the operations with and about honey: the human or animal appetite for it and enjoyment in its consumption, as well as its mysterious production and courageous protection by the bees. The natural phenomenon of bee honey and bodily reactions to it was symbolically projected to represent human intellectual learning. Visual implementations of the honey metaphor in Hebrew books and synagogues and on Jewish ritual objects moralized nature in order to propagate aspiration for divine wisdom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-394
Number of pages25
JournalJournal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Aspiration for wisdom
  • Bees
  • Honey metaphor
  • Judaism
  • Religious art
  • Visual arts

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Religious studies


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