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The Folktale Corner

The diamond of Adam

A Jewish-Afghani folktale

Retold by Yoel Perez

 

You know, when Almighty God decided to throw Adam out of Paradise and I don't want to enter the question, who is to be blamed, because I don't want to embarrass half of my listeners.

Well, God looked for a polite way to sweeten the pill of conversion, because you know here in the Middle East you cannot say to such an honored guest like Adam: "Get out of here!" It does not work like this.

So he invited him to a great feast. He served him all kinds of delicious food and good wines, and then he turned to him and said: "Tell me, Adam, did you think about the idea of going out for a while, to see the wide world Thailand, South America like all the good guys?"

"Ah, why do I need all this bother? I feel quite comfortable here. It is a waste of time, and besides you know after September 11, I don't fill quite safe with planes. No, thanks, I prefer keep staying here.

"Well," said God, "if you agree to go out, I'll give you fine presents!"

"Presents? What sort of presents?"

"Well, I'll give you fields; I'll give you wine-yards!"

"Fields? Wine-yards? To work the land with the sweat of my brow? Oh, give me a break!"

"Look, there are other presents! Come on, I'll show you my treasures. You can take what ever you want!"

So he took him for a guided-tour, and what shall I tell you it was unbelievable! What a treasure! Piles of jewelry, stones of beauty, amethysts, rubies, pearls, diamonds!

Adam looked around. He saw a huge diamond. If I tell you, you will not believe me, but is the truth a diamond in the size of a water-melon!

And Adam did not stand the temptation. He took the diamond and agreed to go out.

Well, he is going out. He sees the gates of paradise closed and locked behind him, but what is done is done. He keeps walking. An angel accompanies him in his way. And then they arrive at a stream of water.

Adam hesitates how to cross the water, and the angel urges him: "Keep walking! Don't stay here!" and he pushes him. And then the diamond fell out of his hands into the stream.

"My diamond!"

"What's the problem? Go down and peak it!"

So Adam went down to look for his diamond, but then he cried: "Mr. Angel, there are so many diamonds here. How can I tell my diamond from all the rest?

"What did you think?" said the angel "that you are the first man to be thrown out of the Garden of Eden..."

 

(In Hebrew we use the same word for Adam and man)

 

This story was told by a Jewish-Afghani storyteller by the name of Shimon Yazdi to Zevulun Kurt, who collected Jewish-Afghani folktales. The story is listed as IFA 7836 in The Israel Folktale Archives named in honor of Dov Noy (IFA) in Haifa University. The way I tell it is quite different from the way it was told by the original teller.