Elijah's Violin and Other Jewish Fairy Tales

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Oxford University Press, Oct 20, 1994 - Fiction - 320 pages
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Tales of magic and wonder can be found in every phase of Jewish literature, from the sacred to the secular. The fairy tale in particular--set in enchanted lands and populated with a variety of human and supernatural beings, both good and evil--holds a very special place in the Jewish tradition. For in the fairy tale, where good and evil engage in a timeless struggle, we have a clear reflection of the Jewish world view, where faith in God can defeat the evil impulse. In Elijah's Violin, Howard Schwartz offers a sumptuous collection of thirty-six Jewish fairy tales from virtually every corner of the world. At once otherworldy and earthy, pious and playful, these celebrated tales from Morocco and India, Spain and Eastern Europe, Babylon and Egypt, illustrate not only their Jewish character but also their universality of themes. Invoking the biblical tale of David and Goliath, we read as King David defeats the giant by hovering above its spear in King David and the Giant. In the romantic tale of The Princess in the Tower, a variant of Rapunzel, we watch as the cautious King Solomon recognizes the vanity in trying to prevent Providence from taking place. And we see the religious nature of the quest for Elijah's violin in the title story. The successful completion of the king's quest enables the violin's imprisoned melodies, emblematic of the Jewish spirit, to be set free. Throughout this richly illustrated collection, one can find the quests and riddles of the traditional fairy tale along with the divine intervention that characterizes the Jewish fairy tale. Skillfully translated, these stories will captivate children and adults alike in which romance and magic become enchantingly entwined with faith, duty, and wisdom.
 

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Contents

On Jewish Fairy Tales
1
Elijahs Violin
19
The Witches of Ashkelon
25
The Golden Mountain
29
The Princess and the Slave
36
King David and the Giant
44
The Princess in the Tower
47
King Solomon and Asmodeus
53
The Mute Princess
148
The Princess on the Glass Mountain
155
The Wonderful Healing Leaves
163
The Princess with Golden Hair
169
The Enchanted Journey
181
The Magic Mirror of Rabbi Adam
187
The Kings Dream
197
The Boy Israel and the Witch
203

The Beggar King
59
The Eternal Light
67
The Mysterious Palace
77
The Flight of the Eagle
82
The Wooden Sword
89
The Magic Flute of Asmodeus
94
Partnership with Asmodeus
102
The Demon Princess
107
The Enchanted Fountain
118
The Nightingale and the Dove
122
The Golden Tree
127
The Golden Feather
137
The Lost Princess
210
The Prince Who Was Made of Precious Gems
219
The Water Palace
227
The Pirate Princess
237
The Golden Bird
247
The Imprisoned Princess
254
The Exiled Princess
263
The Underground Palace
270
The City of Luz
279
Sources
294
Glossary
307
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Howard Schartz is Professor of English Literature at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He is the author of Lilian's Cave and Miriam's Tambourine.

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