20.04.2011 16.Nisan, 5771 Pessah 2; Tag 1 des Omer
The liturgical poem 'Had Gadya' and its distant folktale relatives share the rather humorous element of a plot involving a chain of events enacted by different actors, plus some other similarities – but the Passover favorite has much more profound allegorical and religious significance.
The master wishes to eat a pear, but a series of strange setbacks prevents him from biting into the succulent fruit – until the happy ending. This is the frame story of an old German folk song. Over the course of it, we encounter the following: a dog, a stick, water, fire, a calf, a butcher – all familiar from the piyyut (liturgical poem ) "Had Gadya" ("One Kid" ) sung at the end of the Passover seder.
The song "Das Birnli will nit fallen" ("Little Pear Doesn't Want to Fall" ) appears in the collection of tales put together by the brothers Grimm (Jacob, 1785-1863 and Wilhelm, 1786-1859 ), the renowned German folk and fairy-tale collectors. Their first volume of tales ("Die Kinder und Hausmarchen der Brueder Grimm" ), released in 1812 in the city of Kassel, includes the song about the pear….