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Fiction and Folklore

Ausubel, Nathan, ed.
A Treasury of Jewish Folklore
ISBN 0-517-502933
Covers all genres. Anecdotes and short stories. Interesting stories include "The Downfall of King Solomon", a section of demon tales, the classic golem story, a possession story, and a dybbuk tale.
Meyrink, Gustav
Der Golem (The Golem)
Translated by E.F. Bleiner. ISBN 0-486-25025-3
Meyrink, an early-20th century gothic-horror writer with a deep interest in the occult, wrote this story between 1906 and 1913, and set it in then-contemporary Prague. However, it's not really about the Golem, who appears "in person" only twice and is really more symbolic of the main character's mental state. The first half of the book is very engaging, and involves a variety of of characters in the Jewish ghetto, a murder, and a man without a past. Unfortunately, the plot as set up is all but abandoned halfway through, which is a pity since the introduction indicated that Meyrink's original notes indicated a more engaging follow-through with more involvement on the part of the Golem. My suggestion: enjoy the first half, and make up your own ending.
Neugroschel, Joachim, ed.
Great Tales of Jewish Occult and Fantasy
ISBN 0-517-06005-1
Other versions of the golem and dybbuk tales, a weird messianic tale, "The Rabbi Who Was Turned Into a Werewolf", and lots of others.
Nigal, Gedalyah
Magic, Mysticism, and Hasidism
Jason Aronson Press, © 1994. ISBN 1-56821-033-7
All the things Scholem only alludes to in "Kabbalah" by referring you to rare manuscripts you'll never have access to, such as exactly how people used to exorcise demons, Nigal covers. This is because his focus is on storytelling and the popular history of the Kabbalah. Not only does he discuss Ba'alei Shem Tov and how they went about their business, he relates all sorts of nifty stories and archetypes.
Rogasky, Barbara
The Golem
Holiday House, New York © 1996. ISBN 0-8234-0964-3
Though the book seems to be aimed at a young-adult readership, this is a well-told, gritty novella which retells many of the core tales regarding Rabbi Loew and Yosele Golem. The illustrations by Trina Hyman are really superb.
Schwartz, Howard
Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural
ISBN 0-19-506726-6
After a concise and informative introduction about the Jewish views on the supernatural and demons, the reader is given fifty short, creepy tales from around the world and throughout time, all nicely retold. Sources and commentary are included for each story in the endnotes. A good, entertaining resource.
Singer, Isaac Bashevis
The Golem
(English translation, © 1982.) ISBN 0-374-42746-1
Originally published in the Jewish Daily Forward in 1966, this version seems primarily aimed at young readers. Personally I would have preferred Singer's usual tone of creepiness, moral dilemmas, depravity, and lurking evil (such as in "Gimpel the Fool" or "Satan in Goray"). Two things about this version bothered me, and seemed more obviously aimed to satisfy children: first, the Golem speaks, in a sort of "Me Tarzan" way; and second, there's a sort of gratuitous, brief "romance" between the Golem and a girl at the end of the book, which, as I would expect with Singer, does not end happily.
Singer, Isaac Bashevis
Satan in Goray
(English translation, © 1996 edition.) ISBN 0-374-52479-3
Originally published in Yiddish in 1935, Warsaw. Singer's first novel is tight, unsettling tale set in 1666 in Goray, a Jewish town struggling to return to life after devestating pogroms which left the place abandoned for years. Part moral tale, part psychological study, part supernatural, it concerns the mania surrounding the rise of the heretical pseudo-messiah Shebbatai Zevi (an actual person), and the conflict which divides Goray into believers and non-believers, traditionalists and mystics, pious and demonic. Engaging, evocative.
See Also: "The Testament of Solomon" and Rabbinic Fantasies: Imaginative Narratives From Classical Hebrew Literature, in the Original Texts section.

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