The Golem of Prague

In the 16th century, during the reign of Rudolf II, an old Jewish man named Rabbi Judah Loew lived in Prague. During that time, the Jewish people of Prague were often attacked and lived their lives in fear. Rabbi Loew decided to protect the Jews against pogroms by creating the Golem, a giant who was made of clay from the banks of the river Vltava. Following the prescribed rituals, Rabbi built the Golem and made him come to life by reciting special magic words in Hebrew. Golem “lived” only with a clay tablet inserted into his mouth. Golem was huge, shapeless and only vaguely similar to any human being and he couldn´t speak.

Golem would obey Rabbi's every order and would help and protect the people of the Jewish Ghetto. However, as he grew bigger, he also became more violent and started killing people and spreading fear. Golem was becoming increasingly uncontrollable and destructive. Rabbi Loew was promised that the violence against the Jews would stop if the Golem was destroyed. Rabbi agreed and he took out the tablet and ended its life.

According to a legend, Golem was brought back to life by Rabbi Loew's son, and may still be protecting Prague today. People also believed Rabbi had hidden him in the attic of his synagogue. When the Old-New Synagogue was finally explored, no Golem was found and the legend still remains full of mystery to the present days.

 

by Sára Jirková and Diana Mikousková

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Marta Ehmigová,
21. 3. 2012 14:20
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