Jewish Folktale: Dream

Jewish Folktale: Dream




Jewish Folktale: Dream

Journal Entry

The key message of the author in this folktale is that material possession is not all there is to life. The story has portrayed the Jewish culture’s need to embrace human nature by enhancing the moral guidance in every aspect especially on matters of materialism. In this story for instance, the story of Jacob begins with his deep desire to own a coat of fine cloth, one that he holds so much value to him over the years and through his life (Wabibito, 2012). The coat keeps wearing out repeatedly and he finds a reason to make something new out of it which after sometime wears out too. However, the author compared that to the memories that the cloth made, one that will live forever and that are passed from one Jewish family to another in form of a story.

Has the Tale Achieved Its Goal?

The story, dream, has indeed achieved its purpose to educate the intended Jewish audience on the culture which in this case comprises of the aspect of materialism, giving and family togetherness. In the first instance, Jacob the main character, says, “Yes, it seems it did fly away. But you have helped me to realize that the memories have not flown away. They will be with me always. There are just enough memories to make a story and that will be with us forever if you will help me to keep it safe” (Wabibito, 2012, p.3). The quote shows that unlike the coat, which was merely a material possession, the joy and togetherness it brought to the family lives on as it wears out as eventually disappears.

In addition to above, In Judaism, the act of giving to the poor or the less fortunate is not only an act of generosity but also an act of justice and a duty to the poor. In the story, Jacob offers his priceless jacket to a stranger who he walks home on the cold day without a jacket himself. Later on, good rewards come back to him due to his act as this woman becomes his wife and they live happily ever after (Wabibito, 2012). This illustrates the Jewish culture on giving that emphasizes the importance of righteousness and the goodness for the common good. Likewise, the importance of marriage and family is included in the tale, as there is Sarah and the children who make up the family that Jacob is involved in his day-to-day activities.

What Did You Learn About the Jewish Culture from This Folktale?

From the tale, there was a lesson that gaining material well-being is not exactly wrong in the Jewish culture as long as it is done within the constructions of Judaism morality. This means that if one earns enough money, the individual should dedicate part of it to making a difference or helping out in other societal matters that are not centered on self. The tale also helped in creating a better understanding of what to expect in a Jewish folktale and how to distinguish it from ordinary teachings in literature.

This generally shows that there are some distinct factors found in Jewish literature, among them, the historical depth of the tale and the sense of morality in the literature (Amos, 1999). From this story and that of “the Jewish beauty and the King: Story and history”, the same has been recognized because this story is based on a known biblical story but simplified to create better understanding to readers (Yitshuk, 1995). The story like the tale of Jacob has incorporated aspects of fairness, goodness and the care of the general wellbeing of another human being in the cultural practices. The narrative expansions therefore are mainly of teachings from the Hebrew bible and believe that are passed on from generation to another.



Amos, D. B. (1999). Oral Tradition, and Jewish Folktale 14/1: pp 140-274

Wabibito, R. H, (2012). Dream; Just Enough, a Jewish folktale from Russia, pp 1-3

Yitshuk, A.(1995). the Jewish beauty and the King: Story and history pp 1-44

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