Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Way Meat Loves Salt A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition

Like the Mexican Cinderella, Domítíla: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Traditionthis version,The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Traditiondoes not have the traditional format of a Cinderella story.

In this version, a Rabbi lives with his wife and three daughters in Poland. He asks his children how much they love them. The older daughters give predictable answers, but his youngest tells him, "she loves him the way meat loves salt." For some reason the man is unreasonably insulted and banishes her from the house.

The upset child flees from the house where she meets an old man who she will later realize is the prophet Elijah. He gives her a stick that will grant her wishes when she taps it three times. He also sends her to the home of another Rabbi, Rabbi Yitskhok ben Levi who has a wife and son. She arrives distressed and unable to eat or speak. The Rabbi's family takes her in and allows her to stay in the attic.

The family heads for a wedding feast in Cracow the next day leaving the girl behind. She uses her magic stick to get appropriate clothing and transportation to the wedding. Of course, the Rabbi's son is unable to recognize the distressed girl of the attic and is entranced by the beautiful girl who mysteriously arrives at the wedding. In keeping with Cinderella tradition, the Rabbi's son leaves tar outside the house where the celebration was taking place. When Mireleh leaves to beat the family home from the wedding, she loses a shoe in the tar. She does arrive back to the attic before the Rabbi and his family make it home.

The Rabbi's son sets off on a quest to find the girl and is shocked when the beggar girl requests a chance to try on the shoe. She demonstrates her magic stick and he returns to his parents to explain that while he knows nothing of her past, she has an amazing gift.

The story continues with the wedding ceremony where the bride orders the meal to be cooked without salt. A careful reader will guess the bride's motives. There are no evil step relatives in this version and an interesting lesson on the purpose of salt.

No comments:

Post a Comment