Women and blood libel: The legend of Adil Kikinesh of Drohobycz

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This article deals with Jewish blood libel legends and women, as expressed in legends about Adil Kikinish of Drohbycz. As with many Jewish blood libel legends created as a reaction to the Christian blood libel legends, these legends refute blood libel accusations and tell about the deliverance of an individual or community. Alongside these deliverance legends we find also fewish historical legends that end with the hero's death. The legends about Adil Kikinish belong to this category, and end with the death of the heroine. In this article, I analyze the legends about Adil told in Hebrew and Yiddish in the context of other legends about women in times of persecution. These legends create several key paradigms and, like other Jewish legends set in limes of persecution, establish heroines who transcend the bounds of gender behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-291
Number of pages13
JournalWestern Folklore
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Blood libel
  • Gender
  • Legend
  • Persecution
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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