Drawing upon their rich religious and cultural heritage--a heritage that stretches back to Biblical times and passes through many varied epochs and environments--Jewish sages, artists, writers, and storytellers have continually created imaginative and evocative formulations of Jewish philosophy, literature, art, law, liturgy, ritual, and especially new forms of folklore.
Miriam's Tambourine presents fifty classic Jewish folktales that come from virtually every corner of the globe and every historical period. Readers of all ages will delight in the Jewish versions of the Snow White, Rapunsel, and Sinbad stories, which in some cases were the original sources of these popular folktales. Howard Schwartz has also selected and retold those tales which have retained their uniquely Jewish character and have become part of the heritage of the Jewish people, including the Golem, the tales of Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav and of the Ba'al Shem Tov, tales of Elijah the Prophet, Miriam and her mystical well, Rabbi Adam, and even of the Sambotyon, the legendary river that raged six days of the week and rested on the Sabbath.
Recast in a form accessible to readers both young and old, yet true to their provenances, these tales continue to enthrall and capture the imagination as they illustrate the power of man to overcome evil; the longing of the Jewish people to return to their homeland; and the universal prayer for a world at peace. Providing careful annotation of sources and a brilliant analysis of meanings and symbolisms, Miriam's Tambourine represents a landmark in Jewish folk literature and in American-Jewish culture.