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September 25, 1987 - Image 59

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ROCHELLE IMBER'S

Narratives

Continued from Page 2

I love stories. From the
time I first heard them, the
love of story and storytell-
ing took hold. I was taught
through teaching tales, Bi-
ble stories, and proverbs.
When I began to work on
this book, I had several op-
tions as to the kind of book
it would be: an anthology
of Jewish stories, com-
prehensive and represen-
tative of different periods
of Jewish literature and
genres; a book of stories
representing various
motifs or themes; or a book
of stories I love and feel
most connected to and
could tell in my own way.
I chose the last option.
I have chosen stories that
I love. In looking over the
ones I decided to use, I
realized that many of them
dealt with riddles, ques-
tions, hokhme, and love.
Through these tales we
meet various characters
and understand certain
customs. I have written
these stories not as a
folklorist who preserves
the original texts as they
were collected and
transcribed or as they
were found in the ancient
sources, not as a scholar
who might want to analyze
and document _ every
change found throughout
the ages, but rather as a
storyteller who continues
in the folklore process to
make changes that make
sense to me and to bring
my personal imagination,
life experiences, religious
values, and tractions to the
telling of each tale.

How did storyteller Schram
reach out as a pioneer of one
generation to the next in
storytelling? She explains in
an introductory essay in

NEEDLEPOINT

ACCE NTS IN

perience. There are the
Chasidic and the shtetel
stories. There is a fascination
here that will be cherished by
the generations, as one
recites them to the next.
Recognition of the genius of
the author of this
impressively-compiled
volume is expressed in a
foreword to the volume by
Elie Wiesel. The precedents
of Chasidic storytelling, the
role in it of the 18th Century
Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua
Heschel of Apt, great-grand-
father of the late philosopher
Abraham Joshua Heschel, is
recalled by Wiesel, who pro-
vides a definition for prayer.
Wiesel offers a prayer of his
own which in itself serves
greatly to enhance this in-
spired volume.
In her own preface to her
collected narratives, Penin-
nah Schram makes this im-
portant observation:

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

55

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