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YIDDISH FOLKTALES

YIDDISH FOLKTALES by Beatrice Weinreich
Ebook
Oct 31, 2012 | 448 Pages
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  • Paperback $22.00

    Sep 23, 1997 | 448 Pages

  • Ebook $14.99

    Oct 31, 2012 | 448 Pages

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Praise

“Sheer enchantment—a wonderful collection of stories, jokes, legends, parables, and fairy tales full of wit and cleverness, certain to delight both those to whom it recalls an immediate past and those to whom it introduces an unfamiliar world.”
—Irving Howe

“As host of the National Public Radio series Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond, I had the opportunity to rediscover the joys of Yiddish literature. Many of the translations that we used were taken from Schocken’s excellent Library of Yiddish Classics–a series that brings together a body of work that is very much alive and continues to dazzle us with its brilliance, wit, and humanity.”
—Leonard Nimoy

“Filled with homey Eastern European Yiddish truths refracted through the colorful prism of fantasy and fancy, Yiddish Folktales evokes the vitality of a distant yet immediate realm, and thus re-creates it.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“This gem of a collections open a breathtaking vista upon a vibrant world now lost to us.”
—Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, New York University

Table Of Contents

Introduction  •  xix
 
PART ONE: Naked Truths and Resplendent Parables: Allegorical Tales
1. Naked Truth and Resplendent Parable  •  7
2. A Bit of Herring, a Pinch of Salt, and a Morsel of Bread  •  8
3. Things Can Always Get Worse  •  9
4. The Luck That Snored  •  10
5. The Fever and the Flea  •  12
6. Why Dogs Chase Cats and Cats Chase Mice  •  14
7. Wisdom or Luck?  •  15
8. Pleasing All the World  •  19
9. Poverty Grows and Grows  •  20
10. The Sacrifice of Isaac and the Caretaker of Brisk  •  21
11. The Treasure at Home  •  23
12. A Fable of a Bird and Her Chicks  •  24
13. Letting In the Light  •  25
14. Bad Luck  •  26
 
PART TWO: A Rooster and a Hen, Let the Story Begin: Children’s Tales
15. The Pain in the Neck: A Nonsense Tale  •  35
16. The Six-Pointed Homentash: A Purim Take  •  36
17. A Tale of Two Brothers  •  37
18. Stones and Bones Rattle in My Belly  •  44
19. Sóre-Kháne at the Tip of the Church Tower  •  45
20. Little Bean  •  47
21. A Topsy-Turvy Tale  •  50
22. Clever Khashinke and Foolish Banshinke  •  51
23. The Granny Bear  •  53
24. Moyshele and Sheyndele  •  54
25. Next Time That’s What I’ll Say  •  57
26. The Naughty Little Girl  •  60
 
PART THREE: Magic Rings, Feathers of Gold, Mountains of Glass: Wonder Tales
27. Hangs the Moon on My Palace Roof  •  69
28. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice  •  73
29. The Beggar King and the Melamed  •  77
30. Of Nettles and Roses  •  79
31. The Demon and Sosye  •  83
32. How Much Do You Love Me?  •  85
33. The Master Thief  •  89
34. The Orphaned Boys  •  93
35. Two Brothers Who Went to the Devil  •  98
36. The Snake Bridegroom  •  101
37. The Princess and Vanke, the Shoemaker’s Son  •  105
38. The Foolish Youth and Elijah the Prophet  •  107
39. The King’s Lost Daughter  •  112
40. The Magic Fish and the Wishing Ring  •  115
41. The Hunchbacks and the Dancing Demons  •  120
42. The Princess of the Third Pumpkin  •  122
43. The Orphan Boy Who Won the Bride  •  126
44. Forty Hares and a Princess  •  130
45. The Merchant’s Son and the Demons  •  125
46. The Ram, the Basket, and the Stick  •  140
47. The Golden Feather  •  142
 
PART FOUR: Justice, Faith, and Everyday Morals: Pious Tales
48. The Tale of the Stingy Woman  •  155
49. The Wheat Poured In at the Door  •  157
50. In Heaven and Hell  •  158
51. The Miracle of the Tree  •  160
52. The Poor Man’s Ruble  •  161
53. Blood and Water  •  162
54. A Letter to God  •  163
55. The Seven Good Years  •  167
56. Set a Trap for Another  •  168
57. A Succos Tale  •  170
58. Only Eleven Little Fish  •  172
59. A Passover Take  •  173
60. A Shocking Tale of a Viceroy  •  176
61. The Leper Boy and Elijah the Prophet  •  182
62. The Trustees  •  185
63. A Tragic Tale  •  186
64. Upon Me  •  189
65. The Ballad of the Faithful Wife  •  190
66. The Iron Chest  •  192
67. Water Wouldn’t Hurt  •  195
68. The Unlearned Villager  •  195
69. Holding On to One-Quarter of My World  •  196
70. The Poor Rabbi and His Three Daughters  •  198
 
PART FIVE: Nitwits, Wits, and Pranksters: Humorous Tales
71. The Clever Girl: A Riddle Tale  •  207
72. Then Where’s the Cat?  •  210
73. The Best for My Wife  •  211
74. The Coat of Patches  •  211
75. The Bishop and Moshke: Another Riddle Tale  •  214
76. Good Manners and Foolish Khushim  •  216
77. Khushim and His Bride  •  218
78. The Tale of a Leaf from the Tree of Knowledge  •  219
79. Reb Hershele and the Goose Leg  •  221
80. Hershele Ostropolyer and the Sabbath Caftan  •  222
81. Why Khelmites Are Fools  •  222
82. The Angel Spills the Jar of Fools  •  223
83. A Shoyfer in Khelm  •  223
84. The Hill Pushed Away  •  224
85. How Khelmites Lighted Up the Night  •  225
86. The Melamed’s Trunk  •  226
87. The Rolling Stone  •  227
88. A Cat in Khelm  •  227
89. Khelmites Who Refused to Tread on Snow  •  228
90. The Sundial  •  228
91. A Khelm Compromised  •  229
92. A Bridge in Khelm  •  229
93. Sowing Salt  •  230
94. Two Cows for a Melody  •  231
95. Froyim Greydinger, the Magic Stick, and the Pot of Soup  •  233
96. What Makes Tea Sweet: An Exercise in Logic  •  235
97. The Visitor from the World Beyond  •  235
98. The Ten Women  •  237
99. The Congregation Loves Jam  •  239
100. Motke Khabad Needs a Place to Live  •  239
101. Why the Head Turns Gray before the Beard  •  240
102. The Love Potion  •  243
103. Skotsl Kunt: Skotsl’s Here  •  246
104. The Clever Little Tailor  •  247
105. Two Tunes for Three Hundred Rubles  •  250
106. Some True Miracles of God  •  254
 
PART SIX: Sages, Tsadikim, and Villains: Legends
107. Sabbath in Paradise  •  265
108. The Baal Shem Tov and the Herdsman  •  267
109. Yisroel, the Child Rebbe  •  270
110. The Disciple Who Went Astray  •  271
111. The Rebbe’s Melody  •  272
112. Don’t Go into the Mud in the First Place  •  275
113. The Missed Moment of Redemption  •  276
114. The Mekarev Rebbe Gets Even with a Stingy Woman  •  277
115. The Happy Pair and the Baal Shem Tov  •  279
116. The Fleet-Footed Tomeshef Rebbe  •  282
117. The Right Order Is Important  •  283
118. Reb Khaim Urbakh Rocks a Cradle on Yom Kippur  •  284
119. Rain and the Rebbe of Stolin  •  284
120. The Miracle of the Dry Well  •  285
121. The Reincarnation of Queen Esther  •  286
122. The Penitent and the Rebbe of Tshekhenove  •  289
123. The Boy Who Put Two Socks on One Foot  •  290
124. The Power of the Mourner’s Prayer  •  291
125. The Curious Disciple  •  293
126. A Common Piece of Earth  •  293
127. Reb Malkiel and the 702 Candles  •  294
128. A Modern Miracle  •  296
129. How Judah Halevi Entered Heaven Alive  •  298
130. Rabbi Joshua and the Emperor of Rome  •  299
131. A Wonderful Legend of a Cave  •  300
132. Waiting for the Messiah  •  301
133. The Torah of My Servant Moses  •  303
134. Rabbi Jonathan and the Minister: A Disputation  •  304
135. He Has Only One Weakness  •  306
136. The Rabbi Shows Respect for His Shoemaker  •  306
137. Evening the Score  •  307
138. Reb Leybele of Mir Goes to the Marketplace  •  309
139. Napoleon the First and the Jewish Officer  •  312
140. Napoleon in Vilna  •  313
141. Nafol tipol: Napoleon, You Will Fall  •  313
142. The Cantonist’s Mother and Nicholas the First  •  315
143. Czar Nicholas Decrees the Burning of the Talmud  •  320
144. Emperor Franz Josef and the Innkeeper’s Infant  •  320
145. The Poor Man and Rothschild  •  321
146. Rothschild’s Shoes  •  322
147. Rothschild’s End  •  322
 
PART SEVEN: Elves and Dibbuks, Ghosts, and Golems: Supernatural Tales
148. The Shoemaker and the Shretelekh  •  329
149. The Synagogue, the Church, and the Town Hall  •  330
150. The Transmigrating Soul  •  331
151. Who’s Milking the Cows?  •  333
152. The Passover Elf Helps Great-Grandmother  •  334
153. The Old Shul in Motele  •  334
154. The Blacksmith and the Horses with Human Hands  •  336
155. The Mysterious Gold Chain  •  337
156. The Unquiet Grave  •  338
157. The Large Stone Synagogue of Berditshev  •  339
158. The Golem of Vilna  •  340
159. The Ball Shem Tov and the Gilgl  •  342
160. The Shretele That Took a Little Nap  •  343
161. The Lost Hat and the Pile of Gold  •  344
162. The Miracle of the Beer Keg  •  345
163. How Doves Saved a Synagogue from Fire  •  346
164. The Calf That Turned to Gold  •  346
165. A Cave That Leads to the Land of Israel  •  347
166. Late-Night Spooks  •  348
167. The Demon Sheep  •  348
168. The Dibbuk Melody of Tolne  •  349
169. The Missing Bridegroom  •  352
170. Two Hrubeshoyv Legends  •  353
171. Why the Rebbe’s Pipe Must Be Kept Lighted  •  354
172. Luckily, the Rooster Crowed Late  •  355
173. Neither Eat not Drink What a Demon Offers  •  356
174. A Balshem Drives Out a Dibbuk  •  357
175. Lantekh, the Bridge Hobgoblin  •  359
176. The Demon and the Willow Twigs  •  359
177. The Sleepy Tailor and the Zmore  •  360
178. The Last Dibbuk  •  361
 
Glossary  •  369
Annotations to the Tales  •  379
Notes  •  403
Bibliography  •  407

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