Oral traditions  

The oral traditions and expressions domain includes proverbs, tales, legends,  poems, prayers, songs, drama performances and more. Oral traditions and expressions are used to pass on knowledge, cultural and social values and collective memory.  Like other forms of intangible cultural heritage, oral traditions are threatened by rapid urbanisation, large-scale migration, industrialisation and environmental change. 

 

The most important part of safeguarding oral traditions and expressions is maintaining their every day role in society. It is also essential that opportunities for knowledge to be passed from person-to-person survive; chances for elders to interact with young people and pass on stories in homes and schools, for example. Oral tradition often forms an important part of festive and cultural celebrations and these events may need to be promoted and new contexts, such as storytelling festivals, encouraged to allow traditional creativity to find new means of expression. 

Intangible cultural heritage

Communities, researchers and institutions may also use information technology to help safeguard the full range and richness of oral traditions, including textual variations and different styles of performance.

Intangible cultural heritage

Languages in Israel 

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

The Israeli population is a linguistically and culturally diverse community with 35 languages and dialects spoken in local communities. Hebrew is the country's official language. Its standard form, known as Modern Hebrew, is the main medium of life in Israel. Arabic, used mainly by Israel's Arab people, which comprises about one-fifth of the population. English, spoken as a second language by the majority of the Israeli population, Russian, spoken by the immigrant population from the former Soviet Union, is also heavily used.

Intangible cultural heritage

  • Modern Hebrew emerged as a result of the revival of the Hebrew language that began the late 19th century, and is based on different dialects of ancient Hebrew and somewhat influenced by many languages. The movement for the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language was particularly popular among new Jewish Zionist immigrants in the 1880. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his followers created the first Hebrew-speaking schools, newspapers, and other Hebrew-language institutions.  After Ben Yehuda's immigration to Israel, and due to the impetus of the Second Aliyah (1905–1914), Hebrew prevailed as the single official and spoken language of the Jewish community. When the State of Israel was formed in 1948, the government viewed Hebrew as the de facto official language. Yiddish is still often used in Ashkenazi Haredi communities worldwide, and is sometimes the first language for the members of the Hasidic branches of such communities.as their native language.

Intangible cultural heritage

Many other languages are used by large sectors of the Israeli population, including:

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

 
 

Literature in Israel 

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage
The foundations of modern Israel writing were laid by a group of literary pioneers from the Second Aliyah including Shmuel Yosef Agnon, the only Nobel Prize winner for literature in Hebrew, Moshe Smilansky, Yosef Haim Brenner, David Shimoni, and Jacob Fichman

 

In 1921, 70 writers met in Tel Aviv and founded the Hebrew Writers' Association. Great figures were Bialik, Ahad Ha-Am, Tchernichovsky, they exerted a great influence on younger Hebrew writers. Also Yitzhaq Shami and Yehuda Burla , Sepharadi Jews whose families migrated to Israel in the 19th and 18th centuries, respectively. Then also the writers Uri Zvi Greenberg and Avraham Shlonsky make their Aliyah. 

Intangible cultural heritage

The main experience of this generation of artists lies in the establishment of the State of Israel, among the writers of this generation are: Moshe Shamir , Haim Hefer , S. Yizhar , Mordechai Tabib , David Shachar , Natan Shaham , Aharon Megged , Hanoch Bartov , Shlomo Nitzan , Yehudit Hendel ,Yonat and Alexander Sand , Yigal Mossinson , Benjamin Tamuz , Naomi Frankel , Aharon Amir , Ida Zurit , David Shaham and more. In parallel to this generation, there was a smaller group of artists in Israel, led by Yonatan Ratosh , the Canaanites

.Intangible cultural heritage

The poets of this generation were: Avraham Shlonsky , Natan Alterman , Amir Gilboa , Zerubavel Gilad , Haim Guri , P. Hillel , Benjamin Galai , Yitzhak Shalev , Abba Kovner , Yechiel Mer , Ozer Rabin , Tuvia Rivner , Avner Trainin , Shlomo Tanai , Nathan Yonatan and others.

Intangible cultural heritage

The plays featured mainly Nissim Aloni , Yigal Mossinson, Moshe Shamir, Benjamin Galai, Nathan Shaham, Aharon Megged and others.

Intangible cultural heritage
The waves of immigration at the beginning of the state also produced artists who contributed greatly to Hebrew literature such as Dan Ben Amotz and Ephraim Kishon , who brought cultural baggage from their country of birth and adapted it to Israeli society.

Intangible cultural heritage
The writers of the sixties of the 20th century , called by critics of literature Dan Miron and Gabriel Moked called the generation of the state, were also called the "New Wave" by Aharon Megged and Gershon Shaked.

Intangible cultural heritage

Among the writers of this generation were prominent: Amos Oz , AB Joshua , Amalia Kahana-Carmon , Aharon Appelfeld , Yehoshua Kenaz , Shulamit Hareven , Isaac Orpaz , Kaniuk , Dan Tsalka , Pinhas Sadeh , Rachel Eitan , Amnon the use , Yeshayahu Koren ,Ehud Ben-Ezer , Shulamit Lapid , Sami Michael , Shamai Golan , Shimon Blass , Dan Shavit and more.

 

Among the poets were: Yehuda Amichai , Moshe Dor , Moshe Ben Shaul , Arie Sivan , Andad Eldan , David Avidan , Dan Pagis , Natan Zach , Dalia Ravikovitch , Israel Pinkas , Asher Reich , Yona Wallach , Meir Wieseltier , Yair Horowitz , Eitan Eitan , Yechiel Chazak ,Israel Har , Itamar Yaoz-Cast , Jacob Besser , Israel Eliraz and more .

Intangible cultural heritage

The literature of the new wave tends to follow the changes in Western literature, while favoring avant-garde writing styles in fiction. There is a preference for concentrating on the individual over the human condition and the hero wears a new figure, an anti-hero figure. 

Intangible cultural heritage
During the 1970s, among the writers of this wave were prominent Yaakov Shabtai , Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Haim Be'er, Ruth Almog, Eli Amir, Israel Hameiri, Yaakov Bochan, David Schitz, Arie Samo, Avraham Hefner, Yitzhak Laor, David Grossman and Meir Shalev.

Intangible cultural heritage

Among the poets are: Maya Bejerano, Yosef Sharon, Roni Someck, Amir Or, Alon Altres and others.

Intangible cultural heritage

Yehoshua Sobol, Hillel Mittelpunkt , Shmuel Hasfari and others were prominent in the theater. 

Intangible cultural heritage

Yotam Reubeni , Hezi Leskali , Ilan Schoenfeld and other modern religious poetry Hava Pinhas-Cohen , Miron Isaacson , Admiel Kosman and others. 

Intangible cultural heritage
Writers of the other wave , is the title given by Professor Avraham Balaban to the writers of the second half of the eighties of the 20th century and the nineties of the twentieth century in his book "Another Wave," published in 1995. The other wave writers belong to the postmodernist stream and the differences between them and the previous wave writers were described in Uri Bernstein 's book , "The Literature of a Constant Present."

Intangible cultural heritage

Among the writers of this group are Orly Castel-Bloom, Etgar Keret, Dudu Bossi, Moshe Ofir, Dror Burshtein, Ran Yagil, Dan Benaya-Seri, Savyon Liebrecht, Nava Semel, Gabriela Avigur-Rotem, Yitzhak Bar-Yosef Levi, Hannah Bat-Shachar, Yehudit Katzir, Yuval Shimoni, Ronit Matalon, Dorit Abush, Albert Suissa, Ilana Bernstein, Leah Ini, Mira Magen, Gidi Nevo, Hagai Linik, Yael Hadia Rabinian, Eshkol Nevo, Sami Bardugo and others. 

Intangible cultural heritage

Yiddish writers

Intangible cultural heritage
Apart from Hebrew writers, there is considerable creative productivity in Israel in other languages, notably in Yiddish. Yiddish writing in Israel can be marked by generations, similar to those in Hebrew literature. The first consisted of writers such as David Pinski and Sholem Asch. The second generation, led by Abraham Sutzkever, started its career in Eastern Europe but continued in Israel. The third generation was centered on "Young Israel", a modernist group of poets and prose writers, most of whom are kibbutz members, whose work has been influenced by the avant-garde schools of English and French writing. Yiddish authors in Israel are organized in a Yiddish authors' association.

Intangible cultural heritage

Arabic writers

Intangible cultural heritage
The presence of Arabic-language literature in Israeli society can be initially attributed to Emile Habibi, an Israeli-Palestinian writer and a communist politician. In 1992, he was awarded the Israel Prize for Arabic literature. Habibi helped created the Israeli Communist Party and established Al-Ittihad, a communist daily Arabic language newspaper published in Haifa. 

Intangible cultural heritage

 

Sacred stories and Holy books
 


The sacred and traditional stories  are part of  the Judaism, while Jewish folklore refers to the folk tales and legends that existed in the general Jewish culture. Initially, folklore was virtually indistinguishable from the Haggada, the rabbinical exegesis of the scriptures. It has subsequently developed within the Jewish people in all places and at all times in its history.

Intangible cultural heritage
The basic history of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) contains the earliest and most sacred Jewish stories about the original creation,  the story of the creation of the world in seven days; the creation of Adam and Eve; the miracle of Abraham and Sarah having a son in their old age; the story of Joseph's incredible rise to power in Egypt ; the miracle of G‑d dividing the waves of the Red Sea to allow the Hebrews to escape from slaveryin Egypt, and the manna provided by G‑d during the crossing of the desert. In these stories and many others, G‑d speaks or intervenes directly to save or help their ancestors and is among them. He even has a place to live and travel with them, the Ark of the Covenant. The twelve tribes of Israel, like the rest of humanity, trace their lineage to Adam and Eve.

Intangible cultural heritage

The Talmud is the mainstay of the Jewish oral tradition, is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (halakha) and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving also as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews.

Intangible cultural heritage

The Talmud has two components; the Mishnah, a written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism's Oral Torah; and the Gemara, commentary on the Mishnah. 

Intangible cultural heritage

The Mishnah is a compilation of legal opinions and debates. Statements in the Mishnah are typically terse, recording brief opinions of the rabbis debating a subject; or recording only an unattributed ruling, representing a consensus view. The rabbis recorded in the Mishnah are known as the Tannaim. Since it sequences its laws by subject matter instead of by biblical context, the Mishnah discusses individual subjects more thoroughly than the Midrash, and it includes a much broader selection of halakhic subjects than the Midrash. 

Intangible cultural heritage

Much of the Gemara consists of legal analysis. The starting point for the analysis is usually a legal statement found in a Mishnah. The statement is then analyzed and compared with other statements used in different approaches to biblical exegesis in rabbinic Judaism exchanges between two disputants, termed the makshan (questioner) and tartzan (answerer). Another important function of Gemara is to identify the correct biblical basis for a given law presented in the Mishnah and the logical process connecting one with the other: this activity was known as talmud long before the existence of the "Talmud" as a text.

Intangible cultural heritage

The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including Halakha, Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, and is widely quoted in rabbinic literature.

Intangible cultural heritage

Originally, Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works. This situation changed drastically, mainly as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth and the Second Temple in the year 70 and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the rabbis were required to face a new reality, there was a flurry of legal discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained. It is during this period that rabbinic discourse began to be recorded in writing

Intangible cultural heritage

The process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were then the two major centers of Jewish scholarship, Galilee and Babylonia. Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, and two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Jerusalem Talmud or the Talmud Yerushalmi. It was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500, although it continued to be edited later. 

Intangible cultural heritage
The Jerusalem Talmud, or Talmud of Eretz Yisrael, was one of the two compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary that was transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in the Land of Israel. It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of Tiberias, Sepphoris and Caesarea. 

Intangible cultural heritage

This Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the Mishnah that was developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in Galilee. Because of their location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel.

Intangible cultural heritage

Jewish folk tales

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

Jewish folk tales usually tell stories with supernatural beings and have spread among the people either through traditional stories of the ancients. The tales are characterized by the presence of unusual characters (dwarfs, giants, fairies, etc.), by the sudden transformation of men into animals and vice versa, or by other supernatural phenomena (flying horses, sleep of one hundred years, and others). 

Intangible cultural heritage
There are few specifically medieval Jewish legends that can be considered folk tales, such as that of the Jewish Pope (Andreas) and the Golem, or that concerning the wall of the Rashi Chapel which has receded from so as to save the life of a poor woman who was in danger of being run over by a cart passing in the narrow way. Many of these legends were assembled by Abraham Tendlau in his Sagen und Legenden der Jüdischen Vorzeit (Tales and legends of the Jews of old).

Intangible cultural heritage

Towards the end of the XIXth  century , many folk tales gathered by Jews or published manuscripts from Hebrew by Israel Levi in the Journal of Jewish Studies, in the Journal of Popular Traditions , and Melusine  ; by Moses Gaster in Folklore and in the reports of the Montefiore College and by M. Grunwald in Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Jüdische Volkskunde ; by L. Wiener in the same periodical and by Friedrich Salomon Krauss in Urquell .

Intangible cultural heritage

In all, some sixty to seventy folk tales were recovered among the Jews of the time, The first of the stories gathered by L. Wiener is the well-known tale of "The Man in the Bag" , who manages to escape by telling passersby that he was sentenced against his will to marry a princess.

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

Compilations of Haggadot and folklore 

Intangible cultural heritage
Intangible cultural heritage

  • The Legends of the Jews, by Rabbi Louis Ginzberg, is an original synthesis of a large amount of Haggadot, the Mishnah, both Talmud and Midrash. 

  • The Ein Yaakov is a compilation of the Haggadic material of the Babylonian Talmud with commentaries.

  • The Sefer Ha-Haggadah is a classic aggadot compilation of the Mishnah, the two Talmuds and the Midrash. It was edited by Haïm Nahman and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky. They worked to give an understandable and representative compilation of Haggadot; they spent three years compiling their work. The Sefer Ha-Aggadah was first published in November 1908 in Odessa, in Russia, and then reprinted many times in Israel. It was translated into English in 1992 by William G. Braude as The Book of Legends .

  • Mimekor Yisrael , by Micha Josef Berdyczewski. He was interested in compiling the folklore and legends of the Jewish people from ancient times to the dawn of modern times. His collection includes a large number of Haggadots, although he has limited them to what he considered to be folklore.

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

 
 
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