Friday, August 12, 2011

The Talking Fish

The oldest preserved graveyard in Vienna is a Jewish cemetery located in the 9th district. It was created in the 16th century and between 1540 and 1783 the main burial site for members of Vienna’s Jewish community.

At that graveyard you find a secluded fish sculpture made of limestone.
Of course there exists a legend about this sculpture.


One day the Jew Simeon caught a big fat fish and was looking forward to the meal.

But at the kitchen table the fish lifted its head and cried out “Shema Yisrael”, those words one should say in the moment of death.

But it was too late, the head had been cut off and the fish died.

Quite surprised Simeon asked the Rabbi what to do. The Rabbi said it was probably a “Dybbuk”, a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person and so the fish should be buried.

So did Simeon and placed a gravestone in the form of a fish.

Copyright © 2011 Ingrid Prohaska

Special thanks to JRD Skinner and the Flash Pulp Crew for putting the legend on their 'FlashCast 31 - Gone Fishin'' !


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