Page 89 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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SCHRAM /CURRENT COLLECTIONS OF JEWISH FOLKTALES
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midrashic literature , medieval collections, Yiddish archives col­
lected by Y.L. Cahan, and from the IFA. T h e re are fou r variants
o f the Jewish Cante Fable which integrate a melody into the
story. Included are also 13 Elijah stories, 5 Solomon legends,
a wedding blessing story and a lullaby tale. T h e Foreword, by
Elie Wiesel, is an essay on “T h e Storyteller’s Prayer.” T h e re
is also an extensive bibliography and glossary o f Hebrew and
Yiddish words. An index to the stories, themes, and characters
was added in the 1989 edition.
Schram, Peninnah.
Tales of Elijah the Prophet: Master of M ir­
acles. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1991.
In this book o f 36 Elijah as folk hero stories, the p roph e t’s
diverse roles are presen ted in folktales gleaned from talmudic
and medieval sources as well as from the IFA. As is the case
in all o f the au th o r’s collections, here too the reade r will find
a story with music, “Elijah’s Lullaby.” T h e re is also an in tro ­
duction which accounts for Elijah’s generational appeal. Exten­
sive endnotes detail the tale types, motifs and o ther facts that
pertain to each story.
Weinreich, Beatrice Silverman, ed.
Yiddish Folktales.
Trans,
from the Yiddish by Leonard Wolf. New York: Pantheon Books,
1988. 423 p.
Beatrice Weinreich selected these 178 tales, most o f them
brief, from the archives o f the YIVO Institute in Vilna where
they had been par t o f hund reds o f documents recovered fol­
lowing World War II. One o f the most importan t o f folktale
collectors was the head o f YIVO’s E thnographic Commission
and ed itor o f its folklore publications, Yehuda Leib Cahan. His
two Yiddish books,
Yidishe Folksmayses
(New York, Vilna:
Yiddishe Folklor Biblyotek, 1931), and
Yidisher Folklor
(Vilna:
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1938), have preserved
many stories he collected orally from people in Eastern Europe
du ring the early par t o f the century. Many o f the stories in
Yiddish Folktales
come from the Cahan works. This wisdom-filled
volume is divided into seven sections: Allegorical Tales, Chil­
d re n ’s Tales, W onder Tales, Pious Tales, Humorous Tales, Leg­
ends and Superna tu ra l Tales.