Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism

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Oxford University Press, Dec 27, 2006 - FICTION - 618 pages
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The first anthology of Jewish mythology in English, Tree of Souls reveals a mythical tradition as rich and as fascinating as any in the world. Drawing from the Bible, the Pseudepigrapha, the Talmud and Midrash, the kabbalistic literature, medieval folklore, Hasidic texts, and oral lore collected in the modern era, Schwartz has gathered together nearly 700 of the key Jewish myths. The myths themselves are marvelous. We read of Adams diamond and the Land of Eretz (where it is always dark), the fall of Lucifer and the quarrel of the sun and the moon, the Treasury of Souls and the Divine Chariot. We discover new tales about the great figures of the Hebrew Bible, from Adam to Moses; stories about God's Bride, the Shekhinah, and the evil temptress, Lilith; plus many tales about angels and demons, spirits and vampires, giant beasts and the Golem. Equally important, Schwartz provides a wealth of additional information. For each myth, he includes extensive commentary, revealing the source of the myth and explaining how it relates to other Jewish myths as well as to world literature (for instance, comparing Eves release of evil into the world with Pandoras). For ease of use, Schwartz divides the volume into ten books, Myths of God, Myths of Creation, Myths of Heaven, Myths of Hell, Myths of the Holy Word, Myths of the Holy Time, Myths of the Holy People, Myths of the Holy Land, Myths of Exile, and Myths of the Messiah.
 

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Tree of souls the mythology of Judaism

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Schwartz (English, Univ. of Missouri, St. Louis) gathers nearly 700 Jewish myths, organized into ten sections, with additional commentary for each selection revealing the source and explaining how it ... Read full review

Contents

Abbreviations
xxvii
Transliteration Key
xxxi
Preface
xxxiii
Foreword
xxxv
Introduction
xliii
Myths of God
1
Myths of Creation
69
Myths of Heaven
153
Myths of the Holy Land
399
Myths of Exile
431
Myths of the Messiah
481
A Note on the Sources
525
The Primary Biblical Myths
527
Diagram of the Ten Sefirot
529
Glossary
531
Bibliography of Original Sources
537

Myths of Hell
211
Myths of the Holy Word
245
Myths of the Holy Time
287
Myths of the Holy People
325

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About the author (2006)


Howard Schwartz is Professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the editor of Elijah's Violin & Other Jewish Fairy Tales, Miriam's Tambourine: Jewish Folktales from Around the World, Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural, and Gabriel's Palace: Jewish Mystical Tales. Caren Loebel-Fried is an award-winning illustrator and author of many works on mythology. Her Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits received the 2003 Ka Palapala Po`okela Award for Excellence in Illustration.

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