Jewish Folk-Lore in the Middle Ages PDF ePub eBook

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Jewish Folk-Lore in the Middle Ages free pdf Excerpt from Jewish Folk-Lore in the Middle Ages We look with other eyes on the heaped up treasures of Jewish aggadah, on the diamonds which oriental fancy made brilliant by a fiery inspiration. Brought under this new light cast on them they glitter and gleam in a thousand colours like the dew in the flower when lighted by the sun. We value as a poetical story, or picturesque image, legends like the following: In the time when the Lord remembers His children, and sees them dwelling in sorrow and grief amongst We look with other eyes on the heaped up treasures of Jewish aggadah, on the diamonds which oriental fancy made brilliant by a fiery inspiration. Brought under this new light cast on them they glitter and glean in a thousand colours like the dew in the flower when lighted by the sun. We value as a poetical story, or picturesque image, legends like the following: "In the time when the Lord remembers His Children, and sees them dwelling in sorrow and grief amongst the nations, He sheds two tears, and they drop into the great ocean, and their noise is heard from one end of the world to the other. Hence the earthquake." What a wonderful picture to express, the sympathy of heaven and earth with the heartstricken grief of the people! Or take another: "In the same day when King Solomon married the daughter of Necho, the Egyptian king, the angel Michael descended from heaven and planted a reed in the great ocean- and there came up loam, and upon that Rome was afterwards built." And further: "On the day when Jeroboam first established the two golden calves to be worshipped by Israel, Romulus and Remus erected their tents." Only ill-will, or prejudiced misunderstandings could not see the historical truth in the symbolical explanation of the relation which exist between the fall of Judah and the rise of Rome. Under the form of an allegory, they said that the power of the Jewish nation is intimately connected with the true and unchanged religious belief, and a change in such belief necessarily brings about an avoidable decline. In the curious tales of Rabbah bar-bar Channah, we recognize further, now-a-days, Indian sailor and travellers' tales, and in some of them Buddhistic legends, as for instance, the story of the gigantic fish, which destroys sixty towns, and out of whose bones to his pupils one of his former existence. Innumerable are the examples on which our feet stumble as we tread through the forest thousands of years old, called Jewish literature, where palms and hyssop, trees and bushes, flowers and thorns are often inextricably intertwined. On the other hand, we have learned to-day to recognize only as legends, the absurd accusations hurled against the Jews during the middle ages: such as the use of blood in their ceremonials, the poisoning of wells, the piercing of the host, so that it bled, even the accusations that the Jews have been usurers to so great an extent as it was presumed. All these, and similar accusations, are the outcome of prejudice, they are cobwebs spun by poisonous spiders, which hide the true light, and render the approach to the Ghetto disgusting and obnoxious. But we sweep them away, we know that they are only floating material to be found everywhere in the air, waiting only for the right time and the right men to appropriate and make use of them. They are for us nothing more than one of the those numerous legends, devoid of every internal truth, and interesting only for the student of folk-psychology and folk-lore. One more legend refers to the seclusion of the Jews within the walls of their houses, who are said to care nothing for the movement of the times, and who let the waves of the rolling sea pass over their shelter. But be the walls as high as towers and the prejudice as powerful as ever, they never form a real barrier against the spirit, which pours in through a thousand invisible channels. "The sun shines for the righteous as well as

About Moses Gaster

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Details Book

Author : Moses Gaster
Publisher : Forgotten Books
Data Published : 27 September 2015
ISBN : 1330288750
EAN : 9781330288757
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 20 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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  • Jewish Folk-Lore in the Middle Ages free pdfJewish Folk-Lore in the Middle Ages

    Download Free Ebook. Excerpt from Jewish Folk-Lore in the Middle Ages We look with other eyes on the heaped up treasures of Jewish aggadah, on the diamonds which oriental fancy made brilliant by a fie