Filled with princesses and witches, dybbuks and wonder-working rebbes, the two hundred tales that make up this delightful compendium were gathered during the 1920s and 1930s by ethnographers in the small towns and villages of Eastern Europe. Collected from people of all walks of life, they include parables and allegories about life, luck, and wisdom; tales of magic and wonder; poignant encounters between rabbis and their disciples; and stories whose only purpose is to entertain. Long after the culture that produced them tragically disappeared, these enchanting Yiddish folktales continue to work their magic today.
"Sheer enchantment—a wonderful collection of stories, jokes, legends, parables, and fairy tales full of wit and cleverness, certain to delight both those to whom it recalls an immediate past and those to whom it introduces an unfamiliar world." —Irving Howe
"As host of the National Public Radio series Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond, I had the opportunity to rediscover the joys of Yiddish literature. Many of the translations that we used were taken from Schocken's excellent Library of Yiddish Classics--a series that brings together a body of work that is very much alive and continues to dazzle us with its brilliance, wit, and humanity." —Leonard Nimoy
"Filled with homey Eastern European Yiddish truths refracted through the colorful prism of fantasy and fancy, Yiddish Folktales evokes the vitality of a distant yet immediate realm, and thus re-creates it." —The New York Times Book Review
"This gem of a collections open a breathtaking vista upon a vibrant world now lost to us." —Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, New York University