Shlomo Berger (ed.), Yiddish Storytelling; Amsterdam Yiddish Symposium 4 (ISBN 978-90-806570-7-6, 71 pp., Amsterdam 2009)


This collection of essays, the fourth in the Amsterdam Yiddish Symposium series, examines storytelling in Yiddish. In ‘The Golem and the Prophet – a Journey on the Traces of a Mayse,’ Josef Bamberger follows the development of a group of legends or ‘mayses’  about Rabbi Yehuda he-Hasid of Regensburg and his father Rabbi Shmuel of Speyer, the leaders of Hasidei Ashkenaz, the pietist movement in Ashkenaz in the Middle Ages. Noga Rubin looks at stories in Jewish ethical books. These stories were not only entertaining, they also illustrated and instilled a didactic message. Moreover, they served as a means of educating readers about Jewish culture and its heroes, and as a way of dealing with problems and fears. Jordan Finkin examines the relationship between joketelling and storytelling, accounting for the Jewish joke as a cultural product, structurally related to the story, but whose primary distinction rests in its relation to Jewish discourse.


Josef Bamberger: The Golem and the Prophet – a Journey on the Traces of Mayse;

Noga Rubin: Stories in Ethical Books: What, How, Why?;

Jordan Finkin: Yiddish Storytelling and the Yiddish Joke: A Discursive Study.