The legend of the jewish holy virgin of Ludmir: A folkloristic perspective

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The legend of the Jewish holy virgin of Ludmir originated in the nineteenth-century Hasidic world in Eastern Europe. Employing the tools used in the study of folk literature in general and the folk legend in particular the article concentrates on genre analysis and an attempt to learn from the story about the storytelling society, its problems, and aspirations. By focusing on whether the story of the Maid of Ludmir is a Hasidic shevah{dot below} (a Hasidic saints' legend) about a female z{dot below}addiq, the article pinpoints the importance of the folkloristic perspective to cultural research of the Jewish society. From the contextual notes that accompany some of the transcriptions of the legend we learn that women were the bearers of the narrative tradition about the Maid of Ludmir. The analysis shows that the ambiguity toward women may be one of the factors that produced the story of the Maid of Ludmir as a combined shevah{dot below}and antishevah{dot below}that express the problematics of women in the Hasidic world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-292
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Folklore Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Music


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