Torah & Texts

Avoiding the Mud: A Classic Hasidic Folktale

By Rami Shapiro

Sound advice from both a poor Rabbi and a rich Rabbi in this classic Chasidic folktale about how to avoid sticky, er, muddy situations. A great introduction to the form, a humorous fable and a wonderful bedtime story to boot.

This folktale has 18th-century Eastern European origins and was adapted by MJ Kaufman from “Avoiding the Mud” by Rabbi Rami Shapiro in Hasidic Tales: Annotated & Explained.

This short animated video was inspired by participants at “Pitchfest: Jewish Stories go Hollywood!” a session presented at Tribefest in Las Vegas and sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America. The short was brought to life with generous support from The Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of the East Bay and conceptualized by participants representing the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, Jewish Federation of Ottawa, and The Federation Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA) of Montreal.

Many thanks to the Animators, Directors, Translators, Educators, Funders, Musicians, Producers, Distributors, Writers and Narrators of this animated short including Barbara Barza, J Michael Collins, Talia Davis, Daniel Dorse, Stephanie Finkelstein, Howard Freedman, Frank Guida, Julie Greenspoon, Sarah Kashinsky, MJ Kaufman, Sarah Lefton, Sean Mandell, Rabbi Daniel Roth, Matthue Roth, Jeremy Shuback, Eric Elkins, Esther Kustanowitz, Jeanne Stern, Colin Willsher, and Alessandra Wollner.

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