Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview

65
Froyim Greidinger Revives the Dead

TOLD BY GITSHE AMENT TO SAMUEL ZANVEL PIPE

Eroyim Greidinger had an egg that could revive the dead. One day, he told to his wife, "Pretend you're dead."

Then he invited the Jews to pray over her. "My wife has died," he told them, "and I have to bring her back to life."

What he did he do? He took the egg and struck her on the forehead with it—and she came back to life.

He demanded a fantastic sum for the egg. Of course, he received his price.

Once the rabbi's wife took ill and died. They took the egg and tried to bring her back to life, but, of course, it cracked open on her face. Everyone was furious and wanted to kill Froyim. They were going to drown him in the river San. They had already dragged him to its edge when they realized they had forgotten their prayer books. How could they read the confession of the dying with him? What did they do? They nailed him up in a crate and went off to get their prayer books.

Meanwhile, Froyim, shut up inside the crate, kept calling out in Ukrainian: Ne umyu chitaty, ne umyu pisaty, a khochut mene za krola vybraty. *

A gentile who was passing by heard this. Ya umyu chitaty, ya umyu pisaty, he said, a mene she ne khochut za krola vibraty.**

"You know what?" Froyim Greidinger told the gentile. "Get into the crate, and they'll make you king."

The gentile got into the crate, and the people tossed it into the river and went home. And whom should they see there but Froyim. "What are you doing here?" they demanded.

"It's really marvelous there in the river!" he replied.

What did they do? They all went and threw themselves into the river San.

*"I don't know how to read, I don't know to write, and they want to make me king."

**"I know how to read and I know how to write, hut they don't want to make me king."

-459-

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