This session was developed from Howard Schwartz’s book Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism. Few have recognized the essential role of mythology in Jewish folklore. In this workshop the storyteller told and then deconstructed a single folktale about Rabbi Isaac Luria of Safed in the 16th century to demonstrate how it is built on more than a dozen primary Jewish mythological themes.
Howard Schwartz is a folklorist, storyteller and Professor of English at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. He is the editor of Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, Elijah’s Violin and Other Jewish Fairy Tales, Miriam’s Tambourine: Jewish Folktales from Around the World, Lilith’s Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural and Gabriel’s Palace: Jewish Mystical Tales.