TALES FROM THE WISE MEN OF ISRAEL by Judith Ish

TALES FROM THE WISE MEN OF ISRAEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a collection of Jewish folktales that have been condensed to pithy, Ironic parables. Though few of these fables are more than two pages long, they are richly furnished; angels, diamonds, wise rabbis, holiday processions, poor men, legendary heroes, poor through scene after polished scene as though the Arabian nights had been used to illustrate a stern, wise moral code. The God of the Jews is just: he teaches Solomon, David and Alexander the humility that comes of recognizing even a king's morality; he also permits a wise man to remain in paradise alive because the rabbi had never broken his word. God's ways and meanings are often to be read in the simple facts and ways of life of a rural people: In the death of a wedding; in a pinch of earth. The moral is found by reading these meanings aright. But there is also a stronger, more splendid mystical and mythological sense. Angels and departed prophets come to walk among the simple people; or kings and rich men are taught, among richer destinies, the simpler truths of the poor. Knowledge and enlightenment can belong to all under the Law- and this Innate sense of a stern, supple, human teaching makes these stories more than just beautifully succinct and ornamented fairy tales. They teach and reveal a rich, wise, old and varied way of life. As stories alone, they are very pleasant reading.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1962
Publisher: Lippincott