figures in a stained glass window

[Accounts of legendary reality] go back to fervent human beings who set down their recollections of what they saw or thought they had seen, in their fervor, and this means that they included many things which took place, but were apparent only to the gaze of fervor, and others which cannot have happened and could not happen in the way they are told, but which the elated soul perceived as reality and, therefore, related as such. That is why I must call it reality: the reality of the experience of fervent souls, a reality born in all innocence, unalloyed by invention and whimsy. These souls did not give an account of themselves but of what stirred them, and so, whatever we learn from this account is not only a fact in the psychological sense, but a fact of life as well. Something hapened to rouse the soul, and it had such and such an effect; by communicating the effect, tradition also reveals its cause; the contact between those who quicken and those who are quickened, the association between the two. That is true legend and that is its reality.

Martin Buber, Tales of the Hasidim, Schocken Books, 1947, 26.