Page 87 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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SCHRAM / CURRENT COLLECTIONS OF JEWISH FOLKTALES
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3. T h e T en Lost Tribes; 4. Folktales; 5. Demon Tales; 6. Animal
Tales. O the r categories include: Heroes, Wise Judges , T rick ­
sters and Rogues, Scholars, T h e Power o f Prayer, T h e Ancient
A rt o f Reasoning.
Th e book abounds in stories from talmudic-midrashic liter­
ature , as well as from medieval collections, and the oral tradition
o f o the r periods. While the sources are footnoted, whenever
the credits indicate “Adapted from the M idrash” o r “Adapted
from the Agada in the Ta lm ud ,” Ausubel fails to provide the
exact citation. T h e re is a detailed index and glossary at the end
o f the book. T h e title and subtitle o f this book attest to its com­
prehensiveness.
Patai, Raphael.
Gates to the Old City: A Book of Jewish Legends.
Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1988. 807 p.
Originally published by Avon Books in 1980, this book has
now been reissued. A noted anthropologist and biblical scholar,
Patai has au tho red 26 books and num erous articles. Patai begins
his Preface: “This anthology is intended to serve as a guide
and an introduction to the vast storehouses o f the Agada (leg­
end) literature accumulated by Jews in the course o f th ree thou ­
sand years” (p. vii). Patai translated all the selections from the
original sources in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Yiddish o r German
and divided the book into seven major genres: the Bible, the
Apocrypha, T h e Talmud , the Midrash, the Kabbala, Folktales
and Hasidism. In addition to an overview in the book’s main
introduction, there are in troductory comments to each section
and an excellent anno tated bibliography and index at the end
o f the book.
NOTABLE ANTHOLOGIES
Schwartz, Howard,
Gates to the New City: A Treasury of Modern
Jewish Tales.
Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1991. 815 p.
This companion volume to
Gates to the Old City,
also originally
published by Avon Books (1983), has now been reissued. It con­
tains more than 180 tales tha t draw their inspiration from the
Bible and the Aggadah. T h e re are seven divisions here as well:
Biblical Themes, Apocrypal Themes, Aggadic Themes, Themes
o f Merkavah Mysticism, Kabbalistic Them es, Them es o f
Folkore, and Hasidic Themes. Schwartz has invited some o f the
best known Jewish au thors to contribute to his anthology: Isaac