This unique collection brings together Biblical, Talmudic, Midrashic, kabbalistic, folk, Hasidic, and modern tales that were selected for their prominence within the many traditions of Jewish life. Presented in categories that reflect the history of their telling, the stories are prefaced by David Patterson's sage insights and thought-provoking perspective.
From Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to the suffering of Job, Patterson retells the greatest Biblical stories, those that are at the heart of the Jewish tradition and represent some of the earliest examples of storytelling. Great stories from the Talmud and Midrash illuminate the eternal wisdom of the Torah that ensured the continuity of Judaism through the ages.
The kabbalistic selections penetrate the realm of the mystical, the meaning of prayer, and the mystery of the alphabet. They include a wide selection of stories from the best known and most extensive text of the Kabbalah, the Zohar. Spanning across the centuries and around the globe, Jewish legends and folktales encompass the richness and variety of Jewish life from Ethiopia to Poland.
In no other single movement in Jewish religious life has storytelling played as large a role as in Hasidism. Mining the rich Hasidic tradition, Patterson selects stories that accentuate the love, joy, and fervor of Jewish belief and prayer.
Striking selections by modern writers-Shalom Aleichem, Isaac Babel, and S. Y. Agnon, among others-illuminate the past three centuries of Jewish life, from the golem of the ghetto of Prague to the disillusionment of a young immigrant to New York's Lower East Side.
Greatest Jewish Stories is a collection to be savored, one that will captivate readers of every faith and every age.