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By Eli Yassif

Review
The such a lot entire account of its topic now on hand, this remarkable research lives as much as the encyclopedic promise of its identify. Yassif (Tel Aviv Univ.) examines the Hebrew folktale chronologically within the context of Jewish tradition, and so offers considerate severe analyses of ways the style advanced and built throughout the centuries by way of the indigenous nationwide literature. After an creation describing the evolution of contemporary scholarship at the folktale, Yassif considers 5 old classes: biblical, moment Temple, Rabbinic ,Middle a while, and altering World—the final delineating the Hasidic tale, legends of saints in modern Israel, and stories of returning to the religion in a mundane society. The dialogue in each one bankruptcy is dense and lucid; Teitelbaum renders the unique Hebrew in fluent, jargon—free English. Yassif brings a unprecedented volume of studying to his activity, leaving this reviewer in without doubt that this quantity will henceforth be the authoritative reference at the topic. it's going to even be a useful source for college students of narratology often, on the grounds that its exposition of folks narrative bargains with such modes because the legend, the myth, the fairy story, the comedian story, the saint's legend, between many different literary types. a few eighty pages of notes upload worthy details referring to resource fabric. Upper—division undergraduates via faculty.M. Butovsky, Concordia college, selection, may possibly 2000

About the Author
Eli Yassif is Professor of Hebrew literature and Jewish Folklore at Tel-Aviv college he's the writer of many books together with The research of Jewish Folklore: An Annotated Bibliography, The Golem of Prague, and The Knight, the Demon and the Virgin: An Anthology of Hebrew tales from the center a long time.

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27:1 and 51:9; Pss. 74:13-14; Job 7:12. 9:13, 26:12-13, 38:10). rash. Other ty pical myths that belong to this category are the Garden of Eden story (Gen. 2:4-3:24) and the tale of the sons of God(s) and the daughters of men (Gen. 6:1-4). The for­ mer should be seen as a myth describing the confrontation between the father of the gods and his creatures against the background of their struggle for world dominion. Death and expulsion are the standard mythological punishment for rebellion against the gods.

The sacred legends have various functions: to strengthen the faith of the commu­ nity in the power of its leadership, or to reduce the individual and communal ten ions of daily life. The sacred legend erves also to deepen the identity of individuals within the community and to preserve. and strengthen social equi­ librium. AU this is easily discernible in the tale of Elijah and Elisha. To the ge­ neric distinctions should also be added the many parallels between the Elijah and Elisha stories and the literature of the ancient Near East, especially the Canaanite and the Ugaritic.

As in the legend of Job, there is further proof of the story's folkloric origin: the existence of additional versions. In the Bible itself, another version of the story of the slaying of the Philistine giant has survived, whose protago­ nist is Elhanan, son of Yaare-oregim the Bethlehemite (2 Sam. 21:19; 1 Chron. " The prevailing assumption in folk­ loristics, that tales of lesser-known heroes were transferred by the storytellers to famous figures, raises the possibility that it was originally told as the victory of a local hero over the Philistine giant, and later transferred to the cycle of David stories.

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