The poetic and ideological blurring of boundaries in the Jewish Book of ethics Orhot Saddiqim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter emerges out of dozens of medieval folktales that were included in Jewish pre-modern non-fiction morality essays. The combination of literary folkloristic material and non-fiction moral homilies creates a unique blend of the secular and the sacred. The two may subvert one another, but they also support each other in building a multi-dimensional piece of literature. I suggest a methodological contribution: reading Jewish moral pre-modern literature as a manifestation of four textual dimensions: genre, function, poetic, and rhetoric. Those dimensions enable the literary interpretation and offer an explanation for the acceptance and preservation of those texts through the last 400 years of Jewish culture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlurred Boundaries and Deceptive Dichotomies in Pre-Modern Texts and Images
Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Society and Reception
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783111243894
ISBN (Print)9783111243566
StatePublished - 18 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. All rights reserved.


  • Censorship
  • Fable
  • Hovot ha-Levavot
  • Jewish ethics
  • Judeo-Arabic
  • Musar Literature
  • Orhot Saddiqim
  • Yiddish


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