Myths & Legends

Legends of Bethlehem

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

To the north of Bethlehem, on the way from Jerusalem to Bethlehem at a distance of one kilometre from the town, there are some fields known as the "Basins of Peas." The tale attached to this site is very famous. It is said that Jesus Christ (in some tales the Virgin Mary or Saint Joseph) were passing by those parts when he saw a peasant sowing peas. He asked him, "What are you sowing?" The pe(...)

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Solomon’s Pools

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Close to Al-Khadr's Gate, to the left of the road, are three pools, each higher than the next one. Water comes to them from the rains collected from the lands and mountains surrounding them. The waters used to be purified and ran in a canal to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Opposite the first highest pool towards the north is an old delapidated Turkish fortress. It was built by the Turkish s(...)

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The white flower of innocence

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Fifty years ago there lived a pretty girl in Artas. She was willing to talk with anybody she liked. She was happy and smiling, and many were fond of her. But there were people who did not approve of her conduct.

Especially her brothers became very jealous of her because of all the attention she enjoyed. They said: "She shames the family, everybody talks about us." They took her to the (...)

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Iblis’ trick

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once there were two brothers who stayed in the same house. The one who lived upstairs behaved like a saint while the one downstairs was a sinner. Now it happened that the Angel of Death, Iblis, wanted to trick them. Disguised as a pious sheikh of dervishes, he went up to the good brother, and whispered in his ear: "I admire what you do, saintly brother, but now it is time that you should thin(...)

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The threshing floor

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once there were two brothers who were very good with each other. They always worked together in the fields. During the threshing season they piled the corn in two heaps of equal height. Afterwards they jointly slept in the field to guard their harvest.

Now during one such night one of the brothers woke up and said to himself: "It is not really right that I receive the same amount of co(...)

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A pierced belly

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once a shepherd roamed the desert. He met a sheikh who asked to give him some water. However, the shepherd kept the bottle under his clothes and denied to have any water.

Then the prophet Mohammed appeared and pierced the shepherd's belly. A stream of water poured out. The mysterious sheikh drank from the water and when he finished the water flow stopped. The shepherd, who remained uni(...)

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Lot’s dilemma

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Before he died, Abraham gave his cousin Lot three small plants. He asked Lot to plant them somewhere in Jerusalem. Lot did so. The plants became green; they did not die but neither did they grow.

After Lot left Sodom, he became a sinner. God's Angel appeared to him and said: "Lot, you will only receive God's forgiveness if you sprinkle Abraham's plants with water from the Jordan." Lot (...)

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Generous but stingy

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once a beggar met a sheikh who was known to be a generous giver. The beggar asked him for help. The sheikh said that he would help him by all means, and gave him a cloth. The beggar thanked the sheikh with all the words that came to his mind. However, after inspection it turned out the cloth was threadbare.

Then the beggar wrote on the backside of the cloth: "There is no God but Allah.(...)

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The sultan and his wazir

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once the Sultan had a quarrel with his wazir. The Sultan thought that both rich and poor could be generous. The wazir denied this and said that by their very nature only the rich were willing to help others. They made a bet.

The Sultan disguised himself as a common man. Together with a darwish he travelled the countryside. When he saw the house of a poor man, he knocked at the door. Th(...)

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A covenant between brother and sister

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once a pregnant Bedouin woman fell unconscious after an accident. Her relatives thought that she was dead. In accordance with Bedouin custom she was buried in a cave closed off by a stone.

When the woman woke up she delivered. God was good for her and on her prayers she was able to feed the baby. However, she did not know where she was and shouted for help. A Bedouin shepherd passed by(...)

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