Last night I read “The Rabbi Who was Turned into a Werewolf” from The Mayse Book (1602). There are a lot of parallels to Marie de France’s “Bisclavret” and William of Palerne. More Marie than the other, but there are still a few echoes. It is also a lot more mysogynistic than its predecessors.
That said, I find it rather interesting. What I find most interesting is that it is an early modern sympathetic werewolf tale and story-genre fiction. The early-17th century accounts are all “monstrous werewolf” or “lycanthropy as mental illness” in form, as are their 16th century predecessors. So, based on that alone, I find this sympathetic story stands out. The genre is also an interesting thing. Every discussion of werewolves after the 14th century, at least based on my research (dissertation and book), is a treatise, court document, broadsheet, memoir, or play (in fact, I can only think of one play). This story, hearkening back to both the subject matter and form of the 12th and 14th centuries, seems to be a throw back.
In fact, I wonder how much it predates The Mayse Book. Based on its components, I suspect it is probably a 13th or 14th century story, although it could be older, that managed to survive long enough in popularity within Europe’s Jewish community to be transcribed into the 17th century book.