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Peninnah Schram, widely regarded as one of the great Jewish storytellers of our generation, has collected and retold sixty-four delightful Jewish folktales to create Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another. Ms. Schram, who believes that stories form "the link between the generations," helps forge that link with this book, ensuring that these stories will continue to live and breathe in the modern world. The life force animating these tales is almost tangible. The printed words seem to vibrate, as if the author possessed the voices of various tellers and lent their lilting tones and ripe inflections to the printed page. Furthermore, the laughter, sobs, and delighted cries of countless listeners also echo in these pages. Schram, who has written a thoughtful, informative introduction for each story, demonstrates on every page her belief that the stories "connect to our lives." And when the lifelike characters woven into Schram's magic tapestry suffer or enjoy the fates they most deserve, we rejoice, secure in their storybook world-a world where justice, however incomprehensible, is always done, and where we attain happiness by living in accordance with Jewish law and in harmony with the world's natural order. Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another abounds in a gentle wisdom that presses itself upon our complex and often self-contradictory lives, infusing us with patience, tolerance, and hope. We identify with the kings and princes, fools and beggars, heroes and leaders, villains and witches of yesteryear because, though our lives are vastly different from theirs, we share their moral choices and experience their dilemmas. Schram joins Jewish storytellers throughout the ages, linking past to present and preserving an invaluable legacy for generations yet unborn.
Posted March 1, 2010
Penninah Schram's "Jewish Stories Stories One Generation Tells Another" is a joy to read and often magical in its ability to take you to another place and time. Schram is a master Story Teller and she writes as she speaks, richly and lyrically. She is also a student of folk tales and provides an introduction with analysis for those so inclined.
This is a great book to read to your children, and my favorite Bar or Bat Mitzvah gift. I would also share it with anyone interested in Jewish Folklore, particularly Eastern European.