Thursday, May 3, 2007

Rachel the Clever and Other Jewish Folktales

Author: Josepha Sherman

First line: Once upon a time, a poor man and his young son, Dov, went to the sultan's city to beg.

Why you should read this book: This collection joins stories from diverse sources--the oral tradition in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as the Talmud--united with Yiddishkeit. Some of the tales are well-known to people of all traditions, but retold with a Jewish flair, while others are endemic to the Semitic knowledge base. They are all short, clever, and entertaining.

Why you shouldn't read this book: If you're well-versed in folklore, and especially if you've read Howard Schwartz or other Jewish fairy tale collections, you've probably come across most of these stories before.

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