Elijah the Prophet is one of the most popular and beloved figures in all of Jewish literature. Both as a biblical prophet and a folklore hero, Elijah has fascinated Jews all over the world for centuries. He has served in many different roles, offering guidance on how to live Like a mensch, bringing hope, reconciling family members, rewarding goodness while punishing wickedness, rescuing Jewish communities and worthy individuals, seeing that justice prevails, and signaling the coming of the Messiah.
Tales of Elijah the Prophet is a brilliant collection of thirty-seven stories selected by the gifted storyteller, Peninnah Schram. In these intriguing tales, we see Elijah as the master of miracles. His chameleon-like disguises are marvelously clever and numerous, using such diverse poses as an old man, a traveler, a matchmaker, a magician, a slave, and even a handsome horseman. He uses these disguises to heighten suspense and fantasy, to test people's behavior, to restore faith, and to bring about a happy resolution to the problems in the story.
The tales in this wonder-filled volume cover a range of themes and types of Elijah tales. All are miracle stories, but they vary greatly in mood, character, plot, locale, time, and theme. There are religious stories focusing on restoring faith in God and humorous tales that emphasize resourcefulness. Other stories involve Passover, love, and riddle themes.
Peninnah Schram chose thirty-six of these stories, using the Jewish symbolic number of twice eighteen (chai), which is the Hebrew equivalent to "life." And since it is the Jewish custom to add one to a number, perhaps to ensure good luck, she included her favorite story, Elijah and the Three Wishes, in the Introduction.
In addition to the stories in Tales of Elijah the Prophet, this volume includes an informative introduction to the character of Elijah the Prophet that explores his various roles in Jewish life and literature. There are also extensive notes to each story, indicating sources a