|The Hebrew University of Jerusalem|
|The Faculty of Humanities||The Institute of Jewish Studies|
The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dov Noy (Chairperson)
Dan Ben-Amos, Issachar Ben-Ami, Joseph Dan, Olga Goldberg,
Dimitri Segal, Aliza Shenhar, Amnon Shiloah, Eli Yassif
Yaron Z. Eliav
The example analysed in the article concerns traditions that have grown up around an incident involving Rabbi Abbahu in a Tiberian bath-house. By checking parallel traditions, we are able to trace the route along which the story of the incident passed from Palestine to Babylon and can characterize the evolution of the text along the way Using actual materials from the bath-houses in Palestine, i.e., the hypocaust, Rabin, the narrator, weaves a legendary plot. The story gradually acquires a fantastic form that seems far removed from "historical truth", although, almost paradoxically, it relies on authentic realia. This nucleus of realia in the plot enables us to place the tale geographically and chronologically, and adds to our understanding of the different stages of its formation.
Israel M. Ta-Shma
As against this theoretical-pedagogical exposition spurred by clearly practical motives, Mizes' friend and fellow-countryman Isaac Erter wrote satires that were collected and published posthumously in a book called Ha-Zofe le- Veit Yisrael ("Watchman for the House of Israel"), published in 1858. Influenced by Mizes, Erter discusses the beliefs encouraged by the leaders of the Ijasidic movement - such as the demonotogical world, transmigration of souls, belief in imaginary miracles - under a cloak of satirical allegory; his use of fantasy and dreams blurs the borderline between reality and imagination.
Despite their fictional form and polemical-ideological intent, both books reflect customs and beliefs of the Jewish masses in Poland.
Tamar Alexander and Galit Hasan-Rokem
The article includes a direct presentation of the field recordings of the proverbs, as well as our analysis. The proverbs follow the order of the Hebrew alphabet, in which Judeo-Spanish is traditionally written. As part of our field work we also recorded a dialogue wherein the informant and her husband explicate and "interpret" the proverbs.
Duda "inherited" the sequence of proverbs from her grandmother, who was a heater, and a significant "folkloristic" personality in the Jerusalem Sephardic community. On the whole, the proverbs seem to have existed in a fixed form, as an oral anthology. In our reading of them we analyse the results of our field work on the basis of paremiological theory. The analysis highlights the dialectical relationship between Hebrew and Judeo-Spanish, between oral expression and its written counterparts (hence between orality and literacy in general) and between female and male cultural traditions.
The system of ethics constructed through these proverbs addresses as central issues the tensions between family and community, between rivate and public expression and between speech and silence. Thus the proverbs, together with their interpretations, weave an intricate, ambivalent and contradictory web of meanings, pointing to the potential function of a seemingly simple genre as the bearer of complex meanings.
The Jew appears in the historical scenes of the szopka, where he is summoned by Herod as a wise man; learned in the Scriptures, he is called upon to explain the strange situation, as well as Herod's dreams. The Jew also apppears in the scenes that represent contemporary reality, wherein he assumes the role of the fellow townsman.
The article discusses the ambiguity of the symbol of the Jew, his transformation from a wise man to a clown, who embodies the common traits attributed to the stereotype of the Jew accepted in Polish village tradition. Close examination of the text leads to a thorough analysis of the question as to which aspects of Jewish culture have been accepted and preserved in the stereotype. The article, relating to the ambiguity of the Jew's role, analyses the values the Jew expresses, the language he uses, his behaviour and costume, and the attributes of each of the professions the villagers consider "Jewish".
The action of the play is contained within the contrasting limits of sacrum-profanum. Despite the different roles played by the Jew, his image always falls within categories of profanum; he remains in the sphere of the secular. The only example of infringement on this classification is the result of contemporary changes that take place in the play, eliciting changes in the stereotype of the Jew. Certain questions remain open: Will the Jew continue to play a part in the performances? Will the stereotypical image change, and if so, in what direction?
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