Diaspora and nostalgia: travelling Jewish tales in the Mediterranean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article addresses narratives that tell of a member of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel who comes to the rescue of a Jewish community. The tales were documented at the Israel Folktale Archives, in the second half of the twentieth century, and were told by informants from Morocco and Greece. While it is probably impossible to trace the exact routes of these “cultural possessions”, around and across the Mediterranean, the texts nevertheless provide a glimpse into the ways in which a network of Jewish communities shared a meta-narrative while adapting it to their own regional contexts. Although these tales are quintessentially diasporic, they also provided a platform for negotiating post-exilic identities in the new Israeli national context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-69
Number of pages21
JournalMediterranean Historical Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Folklore
  • Jewish folktales
  • Shabtai Zvi
  • diaspora
  • exile
  • legends of the Lost Tribes
  • messianism
  • migration
  • modernity
  • nationalism
  • nostalgia
  • saint veneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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