In the Tradition of Moses and Mohammed: Jewish and Arab Folktales

Overview

A collection of Jewish and Arabian tales published together in one volume serves, says its author, as a "metaphor for the coexistence of Arabs and Jews." Dr. Blanche L. Serwer-Bernstein, a psychotherapist and former professor at Boston University, has selected forty Arabian and Jewish folktales that capture the imagination and represent the experiences and wisdom of the cultures out of which they have emerged. The two sets of stories in this book are different in many ways. The customs, humor, and countless ...
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Overview

A collection of Jewish and Arabian tales published together in one volume serves, says its author, as a "metaphor for the coexistence of Arabs and Jews." Dr. Blanche L. Serwer-Bernstein, a psychotherapist and former professor at Boston University, has selected forty Arabian and Jewish folktales that capture the imagination and represent the experiences and wisdom of the cultures out of which they have emerged. The two sets of stories in this book are different in many ways. The customs, humor, and countless details differ from one people to the next. Yet Jews and Arabs, whose imagination and creativity gave birth to these tales, share not only biblical roots but also a remarkable coexistence in Spain during a golden period from 700 to 1000 C.E. This collection is the result of extensive research at the Israel Folklore Archives and in libraries in Jerusalem and Haifa, as well as the New York Public Library and the library of Harvard University. Of the forty tales in this volume, twenty-two are Jewish tales and were taken from literary and oral sources. They include stories of witches and demons, tales of Chelm - legendary city of fools - and folktales told by post-World War II immigrants to Israel from Russia, Iraq, Kurdistan, Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere. The Arabian tales come from many corners of the Arab world and include tales about changes in men, tales of humor and entertainment, and stories that the author describes as reflecting a kaleidoscope of human characteristics. A volume that is educational, entertaining, and inspirational, In the Tradition of Moses and Mohammed is also a prayer, urging us to hope that one day Arab and Jew will live together as peacefully as these tales do.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568211275
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I Jewish Tales
Old Tales from the Middle East and Later Tales from Europe 3
Foreword 5
Tales about Witches and Demons 11
1 The Witches of Ascalon 13
2 The King of the Demons and the Worm Shamir 17
Tales about Changes in Men 23
3 The Merchant with Nothing to Sell 25
4 The Wind and the Ant 27
5 Ask a Foolish Question 31
Tales Hard to Believe 35
6 The Mechanical Man of Prague 37
7 The Borrower Jewish Version 45
8 Did the Tailor Have a Nightmare? 47
Tales about Chelm, the City of Fools 53
9 Who Am I? 55
10 Golden Shoes 58
11 Let's Steal the Moon 61
Folktales Told by Immigrants to Israel after World War II: Folk Festival in Sedot Mikhah 65
Foreword 67
The Ukraine 75
12 Clothing the Moon 77
Russia 85
13 Melodies 87
Iraq 95
14 A Contest Jewish Version 97
Turkey 105
15 Settling Accounts 107
Kurdistan 113
16 The Kind Midwife 115
Libya 121
17 The Devil Outwitted 123
Germany 129
18 Ishtar, the Morning Star 131
The Netherlands 137
19 Azael versus King Solomon 139
Poland 145
20 Getzel the Philosopher 147
Hungary 151
21 The Power of Shoes 153
Ethiopia 159
22 Animal Tales of the Falashim 161
Pt. II Arab Tales
Folktales Told throughout the Arab World 169
Foreword 171
Tales about Changes in Men 181
23 How Big Is Big? 183
24 Love in a Garden 186
25 Miserliness Cured 191
26 Boastfulness versus True Generosity 199
27 The Folly of Jealousy 205
28 The Prophet Who Was Not There 212
Tales of Humor and Entertainment 221
29 Would You Like a Jinn on Your Back? 223
30 Djuha and His Donkey: A Medley of Five Tales 229
31 Djuha Borrows a Pot Arab Version 236
32 The Beetle Who Wished to Get Married 240
33 Three Sisters, the Prince, and the Magic Pot 245
34 A Contest in Sign Language Arab Version 254
35 Total Confusion: Why Learn to Speak? 262
A Kaleidoscope of Human Characteristics 267
36 Cleverness: The Unbelievable Lie 269
37 Foolishness: A Medley of Four Tales 275
38 Integrity: Its Survival Despite Misfortune 284
39 Friendship: Loyalty Transcends Death 288
40 Wiliness and Cruelty: Son of Adam Outwits Animals 292
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