In this Book

King Solomon and the Golden Fish
summary
Orality has been central to the transmission of Sephardic customs, wisdom, and values for centuries. Throughout the Middle Ages, Spanish Jews were known for their linguistic skills, and as translators and storytellers they were the main transmitters of Eastern/Islamic culture to the Christian world. Derived from a distinguished heritage, Judeo-Spanish storytelling has evolved over a five-hundred-year historical journey. Constant contact with the surrounding societies of the past and with modern Israeli influences, making it more universal than other Sephardic oral genres. Told in order to entertain but also to teach, Judeo-Spanish folktales convey timeless wisdom and a colorful depiction of Sephardic communities up to the first half of the twentieth century. King Solomon and the Golden Fish is a selection of fifty-four folktales taken from Matilda Koén-Sarano’s collection of stories recorded in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) and translated by Reginetta Haboucha into fluent and idiomatic English that preserves the flavor and oral nuances of each text. Haboucha provides commentary and annotations to the folktales that enlighten both the academic and the lay reader, making this book at once appealing to scholars and enjoyable for the general public. King Solomon and the Golden Fish is divided into six main thematic sections: Supernatural Tales, Tales of Fate, Tales of the Prophet Elijah, Romantic Tales, Tales of Cleverness and Wisdom, and Jokes and Anecdotes. These folktales remain a powerful link between modern-day Spanish Jews and the Hispano-Jewish legacy—this collection passes along that legacy and provides a source of the customs and values of Sephardic Jews.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Preamble
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. Reginetta Haboucha
  3. pp. xxiii-xxx
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xxxi-xxxii
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  1. Part One: Tales of the Supernatural
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. 1. King Shelomó and the Golden Fish
  2. Moshé Ibn Ezra
  3. pp. 5-14
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  1. 2. The Rights of Widows and Orphans
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 15-21
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  1. 3. A la Fín Everything Comes to Light
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 22-28
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  1. 4. The Fisherman and the Gold Fish
  2. Ester Kamar
  3. pp. 29-34
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  1. 5. The Wonderful Tendjereniko
  2. Kohava Pivis
  3. pp. 35-40
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  1. 6. The King’s Lost Son Transformed to a Dog
  2. Maty Shalem
  3. pp. 41-46
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  1. 7. When There Were No Mirrors in the World
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 47-52
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  1. 8. The Father’s Will
  2. Levana Sasson
  3. pp. 53-66
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  1. Part Two: Tales of Fate
  2. pp. 67-70
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  1. 9. The King’s Daughter and the Gardener’s Son
  2. Shoshana Levy
  3. pp. 71-75
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  1. 10. The Three Sayings
  2. pp. 76-88
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  1. 11. The Man without Mazál
  2. Ester Ventura
  3. pp. 89-93
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  1. 12. What Is Written in the Sky One Cannot Enfasar
  2. Kohava Pivis
  3. pp. 94-100
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  1. Part Three: Tales of Elijah the Prophet
  2. pp. 101-106
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  1. 13. Eliau Anaví and the Gevír
  2. Yaakov Elazar
  3. pp. 107-111
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  1. 14. Eliau Anaví and the Vistozo
  2. Ester Levy
  3. pp. 112-116
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  1. 15. The Holy Letters
  2. Ester Ventura
  3. pp. 117-121
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  1. 16. Eliau Anaví and the Mother-in-Law
  2. Malka Levy
  3. pp. 122-128
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  1. Part Four: Romantic Tales
  2. pp. 129-132
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  1. 17. The Power of Love
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 133-141
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  1. 18. The Rose and the Lion
  2. Alicia Bendayan
  3. pp. 142-148
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  1. 19. The King’s Daughter and the Three Fostanes
  2. Matilda Koén-Sarano
  3. pp. 149-155
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  1. 20. Shlomó Ameleh and the Birds’ Eggs
  2. Simha Cohen
  3. pp. 156-168
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  1. 21. The Arranged Marriage
  2. Imanuel Ben Ezra
  3. pp. 169-180
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  1. Part Five: Tales of Cleverness and Wisdom
  2. pp. 181-184
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  1. 22. The King and the Sandelár
  2. Sara Benrey
  3. pp. 185-187
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  1. 23. The Princess Who Laughed
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 188-189
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  1. 24. To Experience So As to Understand
  2. Ester Ventura
  3. pp. 190-194
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  1. 25. The King and the Golden Wheat
  2. Julide Avzaradel
  3. pp. 195-200
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  1. 26. The Donkey Knows How to Read
  2. Hayim Tsur
  3. pp. 201-207
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  1. 27. Mushón and the Papás
  2. Malka Levy
  3. pp. 208-212
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  1. 28. The Tale of the Questions
  2. Imanuel Ben Ezra
  3. pp. 213-226
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  1. 29. When the Mouth Is Used
  2. Rafael Valansi
  3. pp. 227-230
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  1. Part Six: Jokes and Anecdotes
  2. pp. 231-234
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  1. Djohá
  2. pp. 235-237
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  1. 30. Djohá’s Salata
  2. Maria De Benedetti
  3. pp. 238-239
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  1. 31. Djohá in the King’s House
  2. Debbie Hasson
  3. pp. 240-242
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  1. 32. Djohá Eats at the King’s Table
  2. Lea Benabu
  3. pp. 243-246
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  1. 33. It’s All in the Asking
  2. Alex Korfiatis
  3. pp. 247-248
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  1. 34. Djohá and the Oil
  2. Hayim Tsur
  3. pp. 249-250
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  1. 35. Better a Wise Man Should Strike You Than a Fool Help You
  2. Shmuel Barki
  3. pp. 251-253
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  1. 36. What a Sweet Death!
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 254-254
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  1. 37. Djohá’s Questions
  2. Ester Ventura
  3. pp. 255-258
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  1. 38. Djohá’s Retorts
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 259-260
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  1. 39. Djoha’s Invitation to Pranso
  2. Lea Benabu
  3. pp. 261-263
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  1. 40. Djohá’s Mirákolo
  2. Sara Kent
  3. pp. 264-266
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  1. 41. Djohá and the Karpúz
  2. Alex Korfiatis
  3. pp. 267-270
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  1. 42. The Eggs and the Grain
  2. Sara Yohay
  3. pp. 271-275
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  1. 43. Djohá’s Merás
  2. Ester Ventura
  3. pp. 276-279
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  1. 44. Djohá and the Forty Thieves
  2. Rebeka Cohen-Ariel
  3. pp. 280-282
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  1. Numskulls: Tales from Makeda
  2. pp. 283-284
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  1. 45. The Tales of Makeda
  2. Shoshana Levy
  3. pp. 285-286
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  1. 46. The Seven Repudiated Wives of Makeda
  2. pp. 287-293
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  1. 47. The Woman from Makeda and the Papias
  2. Strea Kohen
  3. pp. 294-295
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  1. 48. Djenitores in Makeda
  2. Ety Eylam
  3. pp. 296-297
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  1. 49. The Mice of Makeda
  2. Shoshana Levy
  3. pp. 298-300
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  1. 50. The Makedanos and the Cat
  2. Matilda Koén-Sarano
  3. pp. 301-302
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  1. 51. The Eve of Yom Kippúr in Makeda
  2. Matilda Koén-Sarano
  3. pp. 303-305
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  1. 52. Yom Kippúr in Makeda
  2. Shimon Asayas
  3. pp. 306-309
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  1. 53. The Makedanos at the Bathhouse
  2. Djoya Albukrek
  3. pp. 310-312
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  1. 54. Snow in Makeda
  2. Ester Levy
  3. pp. 313-314
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  1. El rey Shelomó i el pishkado de oro
  2. Moshé Ibn Ezra
  3. pp. 315-318
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  1. Informants
  2. pp. 319-328
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  1. A Note on Judeo-Spanish
  2. pp. 329-332
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 333-352
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  1. Type Index
  2. pp. 353-356
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  1. Motif Index
  2. pp. 357-384
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 385-396
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