Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version


Publication Source

The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe


or Eliyohu hanovi, was the most popular biblical figure in Jewish folklore in Eastern Europe. The oral traditions of late antiquity established the narrative foundation upon which his image would develop; his name also occurs in proverbs and songs. Elijah is said to make an invisible appearance during the Passover Seder, when a special cup of wine is poured in his honor, and at circumcision ceremonies, when a special chair is reserved for him.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published in The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe © 2008 Yale University Press. Reproduced with permission. The volume is available at



Date Posted: 01 December 2017