Moses Gaster naît en 1856. Comme d’autres intellectuels juifs, il doit quitter la Roumanie et trouve refuge à Vienne, puis en Angleterre, où il entre à la Folk-Lore Society en 1886. Il collecte des manuscrits samaritains, hébreux, slaves et arabes, mais aussi des amulettes juives et des objets du folklore roumain. Parmi ses travaux les plus significatifs sur le folklore, on trouve Jewish Folk-Lore in the Middle Ages (1887), Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories (1915) et Children’s Stories from Roumanian Legends and Fairy Tales (1923). Il meurt en 1939.
«A Bridge to the East: Moses Gaster as a Romanian Folkorist»
par Simon Rabinovitch
As Chief Rabbi (Haham) of the Sephardic community in London, Moses Gaster marked a departure for the Folklore Society when he became its president in 1907 and 1908 (Gaster being the Folklore Society’s only ordained rabbi as president). Gaster was a German-educated, Bucharest Jew, from an affluent family, who found refuge in England after being expelled from Romania in 1885. Gaster’s scholarly output over the course of a career that spanned from the 1870s through the 1930s included many volumes on Jewish, Samaritan, and European folklore and philology. Perhaps first, foremost, and most passionately, Gaster was a Romanian folklorist. He completed his doctoral dissertation at the University (...)