Page 35 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 19

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SCHWARZBAUM — ETHNOLOGY AND FOLKLORE
2 9
judeo-musulmans du Maroc (Paris, 1948), attesting that many
religious shrines and holy tombs are adored by both Jews and
Moslems. This is also seen in H. Schwarzbaum’s recent study,
“The Jewish and Moslem Versions of Some Theodicy Legends.”6
A. de Larrea Palacin’s fascinating collection of folktales of the
Jews of Tetuan, Spanish Morocco, Cuentos populares de los
Judios del Norte de Marruecos (Tetuan, Inst, de Estudios e
Invest. Hispano-Arabes, 1952-1953), is of extreme value, shed­
ding much light on the legendary lore of Spanish Moroccan Jew ry
as well as on their superstitions and rituals.
Our knowledge of the culture and literature of the Falashas
or Abyssinian Jews has increased considerably in recent years.
Dr. Jacques Faitlovitch’s classic Quer durch Abessinien (Berlin,
1910) has now appeared in a fine Hebrew garb, Masa el ha-Fala-
shim (“Journey to the Falashas,” Tel-Aviv, Dvir, 1959). It was
translated into Hebrew by Max Wurmbrand and prefaced by
Itzhak Ben-Zvi and Dr. I. Ben-Zeev. These two scholars describe
the manifold activities of the late Dr. Faitlovitch and his
importance in the domain of Falasha studies. Bet Faitlovitch,
which houses his unique Ethiopic, Falasha and Oriental library,
having recently been bequeathed to the Tel-Aviv Municipality,
constitutes one of the most important cu ltural and scholarly
centers of Tel-Aviv. The most complete handbook on the Fala­
shas is still A. Z. Aescoli’s Sepher ha-Falashim: Yehude Habash,
Tarbutam u-Mesorotehem (“The Falasha Book: Ethiopia’s Jews,
The ir Cu lture and Traditions,” Jerusalem, R. Maas, 1943 ) .
Aescoli sets forth a fresh and fascinating view of the Falashas,
of their social life and institutions, their folk-beliefs and practices,
their festivals, fasts, rituals and rites, and their literature. A more
recent addition is his pioneer Recueil de Textes Falachas (Paris,
Institut d’Ethnologie, 1951). This collection of Falasha texts,
together with a French translation and a comprehensive intro­
duction, is of extreme scholarly value.
Much has recently been published by the eminent scholar W o lf
Leslau, whose Falasha Anthology (New Haven, Yale University,
1951) offers a fine English translation of the most important
Falasha texts, profusely annotated and interpreted. Also highly
valuab le is the same author’s Coutumes et croyances des Falachas:
Ju ifs d’Abyssinie (Paris, Institut d ’Ethnologie, 1957), which pre­
sents in a scholarly fashion the basic customs and beliefs of the
Falashas, and furnishes the necessary groundwork for fu rther
study. Leslau’s fascinating introduction to his Falasha Anthology
also gives a well-rounded view of Falasha folk-culture. Much new
material is given by Max Wurmbrand in “Fragments d ’Anciens
ficrits Juifs dans la L itterature Falacha,”7 and by Haim Schwarz-
baum in “The Jewish and Moslem Sources of a Falasha Creation
6Fabula: Jou rna l of Folktale Studies, III (1959-60), pp. 119-169.
7 Jou rna l Asiatique, Paris, 1954, pp. 83-100.