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Lilith's Cave

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Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural
Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural Book Cover, written by Howard Schwartz
Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural Book Cover, written by Howard Schwartz
Author(s) Howard Schwartz
Publisher Harper & Row (Hardcover)
Oxford University Press (Paperback)
Publication date August 1988 (Hardcover)
December 12, 1991 (Paperback)
Media type Paperback & Hardcover
Length 288 Pages
ISBN 978-0195067262

For other uses of the name Lilith, see Lilith (disambiguation).


Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural is a book written by Howard Schwartz. Ths work contains stories created from Rabbinic sources, medieval Jewish folklore, Hasidic texts, and oral tradition, some of which have Lilith appearing in them.


Overview

  • Title: Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural
  • Author: Howard Schwartz
  • Published By: Harper & Row (Hardcover)
    Oxford University Press (Paperback)
  • Length: 288 Pages
  • Format: Paperback & Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0062507796 (Hardcover)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062507792 (Hardcover)
  • ISBN-10: 0195067266 (Paperback)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195067262 (Paperback)
  • Publishing Date: August 1988 (Hardcover)
    December 12, 1991 (Paperback)


Plot Summary

Once upon a time in the city of Tunis, a flirtatious young girl was drawn into Lilith's dangerous web by glancing repeatedly at herself in the mirror. It seems that a demon daughter of the legendary Lilith had made her home in the mirror and would soon completely possess the unsuspecting girl. Such tales of terror and the supernatural occupy an honored position in the Jewish folkloric tradition.

Howard Schwartz has superbly translated and retold fifty of the best of these folktales, now collected into one volume for the first time. Gathered from countless sources ranging from the ancient Middle East to twelfth-century Germany and later Eastern European oral tradition, these captivating stories include Jewish variants of the Pandora and Persephone myths and of such famous folktales as "The Fisherman and His Wife," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and "Bluebeard," as well as several tales from the Middle Ages that have never before been published.

Focusing on crucial turning points in life--birth, marriage, and death--the tales feature wandering spirits, marriage with demons, werewolves, speaking heads, possession by dybbuks (souls of the dead who enter the bodies of the living), and every other kind of supernatural adversary. Readers will encounter a carpenter who is haunted when he makes a violin from the wood of a coffin; a wife who saves herself from the demoness her husband has inadvertently married by agreeing to share him for an hour each day; and the age-old tale of Lilith, Adam's first wife, who refused to submit to him and instead banished herself from the Garden of Eden to give birth to the demons of the world.

Drawn from Rabbinic sources, medieval Jewish folklore, Hasidic texts, and oral tradition, these stories will equally entrance readers of Jewish literature and those with an affection for fantasy and the supernatural.


Book Review

The following review is from the Amazon.com link found in the External Links below:

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top-notch! Entertaining but also with educational value
  • Reviewed On: August 29, 2004
  • Reviewed By: D. Norder

This an absolute delight of a book, with stories that will entertain adults and children alike. A number of the tales focus on Lilith, but there are also a good collection of other supernatural beasties here.

Howard Schwartz is a first-rate scholar and even provides footnotes and background on the stories he presents. The information on the history of Lilith here sticks to proven facts instead of farfetched speculation and outright errors and fantasies most other books on the subject are filled with.

I highly recommend this collection and Schwartz's other books of fairy tales as well.

External Links