Reading Notes: Jewish Fairy Tales Part B

-Hanina bestows his son with a dying wish: to buy the first thing offered to him at the market before the Passover feast
-Hanina's parents pass away side by side, and the traditional seven days of mourning commence
-The item offered to him at the market is a silver casket worth a thousand gold pieces
-The casket is opened on Passover and a frog hops out
-The frog grows massive over the ensuing weeks
-Hanina and his wife grow poor and destitute in trying to keep up with feeding the frog
-Finally, the frog speaks to the couple and offers to grant their desires
-The wife asks for food, Hanina for knowledge ("the lore of men")
-The frog writes down the laws and seventy languages on strips of paper
-When Hanina swallows them, he becomes acquainted with everything
-Learns the "language of the beasts and the birds"
-Then Hanina and wis wife are taken by the frog to the forest
-Birds and insects come in droves with precious jewels and herbs

-Rabbi Lion lived in a ghetto in Prague 
-He could not find a servant to attend the fire on the Sabbath
-People were afraid of him and his perceived abilities with chemistry; they called him a magician
-The rabbi decided to put this perception to the test and build himself a servant
-Created a woman mechanical woman figure and endowed it with life 
     -By placing a piece of paper with the "Unpronounceable Sacred Name of God" in her mouth
-Children in the street ask her to make a fire to keep them warm, but it turns into a catastrophe and burns down many houses; the mechanical woman dies in the blaze
-The King orders the rabbi to make another creature and demonstrate he is not defying holy law by making a living creature
-The rabbi builds a man this time
    -It only operates with God's help, when the scroll is in its mouth
-The children call the creature the bogey-man and run from it
-It becomes surly and disobeys the rabbi
-Tries to break into the synagogue and destroy the holy scrolls
-The rabbi acts in the nick of time by removing the parchment from its mouth
-It falls into a useless pile of wood and screws

 A frog with the power to grant wishes. Source: Needpix


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