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This site presents Rebecca Rose Glueck's ground breaking research on the Fantastic Tales of Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah.

 An "Or Hahechal" Publication www.orhahechal.com
Rebecca Rose Glueck can be reached at
 

The Babylonian Talmud (Bava Batra 73 a-b) recounts the tales of Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah, (3rd century Amora who lived in Babylon and the Land of Israel). The enigmatic tales tell of incredible voyages and immense creatures. The tales of Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah are remarkable for their extreme hyperbole, and are often categorized as folktales or allegories. Based upon a gaonic tradition, Rebecca Rose Glueck proposes that the first ten tales of Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah are records of visionary and dream-like experiences, in which Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah confronts the mystery of Nature. Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah's vision quest may conflict with the prevalent Torah-centered viewpoint of the sages, which holds that Nature is just a reflection of Torah. Glueck believe that Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah’s tales present a myth-like view of Nature in which all beings share a sense of unity, and experience becomes an undifferentiated flow like the ocean's currents. Nature gives rise to symbols expressing concepts of the self, of social organization and of world-views. Glueck also argues that the first few tales are actually from Rabbah Bar Hannah, who was Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah's father. Glueck farther proposes that the Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah's tales present a vision of a society of individuated selves, living with Nature, in harmony with an evolutionary process, and not locked into a single world view. Rabbah Bar Hannah and Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah may have been deeply troubled by the rift between Jewry in the Land of Israel and in Babylon, which developed at the outset of the Amoraic age. The desire to heal this rift finds expression in the tales. Rebecca Rose Glueck is inspired by Freud's associative method of dream interpretation and employs a Freudian orientation in the interpretation of these tales.