Story of Jews and Cannabis at YIVO Opens in New York Tomorrow

Story of Jews and Cannabis at YIVO Opens in New York Tomorrow
High Times

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is launching a new, in-person exhibition called Am Yisrael High: The Story of Jews and Cannabis on May 5 at the Center for Jewish History building in New York City. The event will also be livestreamed for remote viewers. Running from this week through the end of the year, the exhibit highlights the largely overlooked connection between Judaism and cannabis throughout history. While it’s well known that there are religious connections to cannabis, specifically in the Judo-Christian tradition, Rastafarians get most of the press coverage relating to sacramental usage of the coveted holy herb. Courtesy of YIVO. 420=עשן. Art by Steve Marcus, 2022. YIVO Archives. According to the exhibit’s press release, references to cannabis appear in the Bible (a fact many Christians know as well), the Talmud, and numerous other Jewish texts. Rabbis have written on the subject, and cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes and during rituals. There are also celebrations to be had of Jewish contributions to the world of cannabis and medical sciences, which are also highlighted in the exhibit. It also features famous counterculture icons in cannabis and businesspeople who fall under the Jewish umbrella. One can follow the history of the plant, along with the history of Jewish cannabis enthusiasts. The exhibit also features cannabis-centric art from the culture, including menorah bongs, an item that sounds like it might make its way into a Hanukkah celebration in the near future. “While activity in the many realms of cannabis involves all kinds of people, not only members of the tribe, many Jews have played significant roles in a number of aspects related to cannabis and their connection warrants inquiry,” said Eddy Portnoy, YIVO’s academic advisor & exhibitions curator and author of Bad  Rabbi: And Other Strange But True Stories from the…

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