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Tuhami vs. Rabbi Wazana
April 24th, 2013 by russom

“Tuhami” and “Without Bounds” both had authors analyze the lives of two different men. In “Tuhami”, Crapanzano analyzed the life of Tuhami during his field work study. Crapanzano analyzed Tuhami’s life through the stories he was told and the events that occurred while he was there. In “Without Bounds” Bilu analyzes the life of Rabbi Wazana.  The difference between these two authors is that Crapanzano had to analyze the life of Tuhami while he was still alive and Bilu had to analyze the life of Rabbi Wazana after he passed away.

Crapanzano’s job analyzing Tuhami’s life was hard because of many different factors. Crapanzano had to analyze the life of Tuhami through the stories Tuhami told. Crapanzano has to analyze the stories with such care in order to figure out the difference between what is real and what is exaggerated. For example, Tuhami gets sick twice while working in the factory. Both of these times, he is mysteriously injured and blames the jinn. I felt that this development was perfect to show how Crapanzano had to figure out which part of Tuhami’s stories were real or exaggerated. Crapanzano did a great job giving the readers a way to understand how life in Morocco happened, the rituals of the people, and the perspective through the eyes of Tuhami.

Bilu on the other hand had to analyze the life of Rabbi Wazana through his family members, relationships, and members of his society. This was a different way to analyze the life a person. While not as efficient as talking to the person such as Crapanzano and Tuhami, Bilu had to put a lot more work into figuring out Rabbi Wazana’s life. Bilu’s information on Wazana was built on informants as the “figure of Wazana carried in the hearts and minds of his friends and acquaintances is to a substantial degree a private, personal and subjective memory carved by the shifting sands of their current lives”(Bilu 152).  Bilu’s information was harder to analyze than Crapanzano because Bilu only had stories to work from. These stories while skewed with individual opinion still gave Bilu enough information to give the readers an accurate picture of what Rabbi Wazana was like in Morocco and Israel.

Both Bilu and Crapanzano took on challenges of analyzing the lives of two people in a different culture and geographical background. Crapanzano analyzed Tuhami through stories and actions while Bilu analyzed Rabbi Wazana through stories and writings. Crapanzano had a difficult job analyzing Tuhami because of the exaggeration of his stories or the erroneous perception given by Tuhami. Bilu on the other hand had to analyze all the different stories of the family members and member of society Rabbi Wazana helped. This was difficult as many of his family members had their own personal opinions of Wazana and in many cases looked down upon him. This was unlike the many members of society that Rabbi Wazana helped we exaggerated the stories of Wazana, making him seem like a mystical healer. Both of these authors had a difficult time analyzing the truth of all of the stories but in the end did a good job portraying both Tuhami and Rabbi Wazana in Morocco.


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