A Jewish Bestiary: a Book of Fabulous Creatures Drawn from Hebraic Legend and Lore
Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1984
"The world of the animal kingdom is deeply ingrained in the Jewish consciousness, no doubt prompted by the majestic account of Creation... Indeed, a "Jewish bestiary" might very well start with the Hebrew Bible, which abounds in animal references... Moreover, there is a rich store of animal tales to be found in talmudic and midrashic literature, where the creatures in question convey a variety of moral lessons. ... From among the vast assemblage, I have chosen to dipict twenty-five creatures, culled from traditional Jewish sources, as set forth in the texts that accompany the individual illustrations. ... Pictures of beasts appeared frequently in Jewish illuminated manuscripts as well. There were the familiar creatures mentioned in the Bible, most notably the lion, and also exotic creatures, included for decorative purposes. ...the illuminations in Jewish manuscripts do not differ essentially from those in Christian bestiaries, from which they were often copied... In the drawings that follow I have eschewed such cultural "borrowings," even if there is historical sanction for the practice. What I have sought to create here are bestiary illustrations within a strictly Jewish context." - preface
56 p., line drawings, bibliography.
ISBN: 0-8276-0245-6; LCCN: 84014421; LC: NC139.P59A41984; DDC: 704.9/4619
Last update December 6, 2021