Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview


Collectors

Aryeh-Sapir, Nili. (dates unavailable). Born and educated in Tel Aviv. She studied Hebrew literature and Jewish philosophy at Tel Aviv University; during her military service, she was an officer teaching in a military boarding school. After her discharge from the military, she continued her studies in the Department of Jewish and Comparative Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in folklore of the Land of Israel. Her doctoral dissertation (completed in 1998) is on stories and ceremonies in Tel Aviv, 1909–1936. She participated in a project preparing a folklore curriculum for teaching folklore in Israeli high schools. Now she teaches at the Department of Jewish and Comparative Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in the Literature Department of Tel Aviv University, specializing in public ceremonies and personal narratives.

Avitsuk, Yaacov. (1924–1993). Born in Vaslui, Romania, in the Moldavia region. He was the sixth child in a family of nine children. His father, an upholsterer, instilled in his children the love for the Land of Israel and the hope to live there. All of his brothers and sisters were members of Zionist organizations and prepared themselves to live in then-Palestine in agricultural settlements, a goal they all fulfilled. Avitsuk grew up in a traditional home, but he did not remember his father as a learned person. He heard stories about his grandfather, who escaped conscription to the Russian army and sought refuge in Romania. His grandfather gained the respect of his non-Jewish neighbors because of his strength and his knowledge of folk medicine—a tradition he passed on to his own son, Avitsuk's father. When Avitsuk was young, his father used to take him to hear wandering Hasidic preachers who visited Vaslui, and from them the boy learned many stories. He also learned many stories from his father, who used to tell them around the family table on Sabbath eve.

Avitsuk remembered that his parents welcomed to their home the city's poor people and travelers, who used to tell stories during their stay. At the end of World War II, he joined a Zionist organization and came to Israel in 1946 onboard an illegal ship. After a short period of confinement in the Atlith Camp, he was released and joined the Haganah underground; after the establishment of the State of Israel he began working as a teacher and as a youth counselor for new immigrants. In 1955, he married his wife, Tamar, and joined Moshav Be'er-Tuviyyah. After participating in the 1956 Sinai Campaign, Avitsuk completed his studies in a teacher's college in Beer-Sheva. He published a book of poems in 1961, began writing short stories about the life of the new immigrants to Israel, and started to

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