The mythology of Judaism is one of the few world mythologies to remain largely unexplored by the public. But this is not because of any lack—Jewish mythology is as fascinating and rich as any set of stories in the world. Jews were very literate from an early date, putting their stories down into written texts, even while other cultures were still transmitting them orally, so we have vast body of well-preserved work to discover!
This is a mythology of many voices, sourced from the Midrash and Talmud, Kabbalistic literature, Hasidic texts, medieval folklore, and oral tales, and it covers mythological subject matter as varied as famous Biblical figures, vampires, golems, and giants. Many of your favorite movie monsters, in fact, might just find their roots in Jewish mythology.
Jewish mythology is so diverse because it reflects the struggle between the monotheistic Hebrew prophets, and the paganism of the ancient Hebrews, who often worshiped other gods alongside Yahweh. Thus, this is a mythology that includes elements one might not expect to be associated with Judaism. It is also a mythology of everyday life, as many of myths are simply tales told in an attempt to explain how the world worked for the ancient Hebrews.
Let's explore these fascinating stories by taking a look at 8 tales from Jewish myth and legend.