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[Perspectives] Blood: substance and metaphor

It begins with an intravenous bag of blood. “In the age of DNA, whilst we know our blood does not contain the essence of who we are, the metaphor of blood has not lost its power”, states the text. In Blood: Uniting and Dividing at the Jewish Museum London, visitors see the importance of blood as both substance and metaphor, beginning with Jewish tradition, and flowing far into myth, culture, and medicine. “The exhibition asks both how Jews have defined themselves through blood, and how they have been defined through blood”, explains Anthony Bale, the exhibition’s medieval specialist and co-editor of the accompanying book, Blood: Reflections on What Unites and Divides Us.