Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Eighth Story: The Golem

Name of story: The Golem

Origin: Eastern Europe, Nineteenth Century

Page Numbers: 265-270


In the reign of Emperor Rudolf in Prague lived Rabbi Judah Loew who was taught in mysteries by Rabbi Adam. In one year he had a dream of being in Christian quarters of Prague and he witnessed a murder of a child being thrown in the sack and then carried to the Jewish section of the ghetto and left inside a Jewish house. The person who did this was an evil sorcerer named Thaddeus who planned on accusing the Jews of blood libel. [My note: In the past since 1200s, Christians accused Jews of killing children and using their blood for matzos during Passover/Easter time. "A TERRIBLE LIE. NEVER HAD SUCH A THING BEEN DONE." (266)]. Later he saw a flock of birds make G-d's name and saw a man of clay which can be awakened by the word Emet which means Truth.

Rabbi Judah Loew tried to figure out the meaning and found out that should Thaddeus accuse them of blood libel there will be a pogrom. [My note: basically when people such as Christians or Cossacks rise up against Jews, destroy them and the property and whatever else. They were very common in Eastern Europe.] He also believed that the dream must have a method of defeating Thaddeus.

He opened up the Torah and saw the Name of G-d and realized that he must fashion the clay man and slip the name of G-d into it to bring it back to life. That very same night he awakened his disciple Jacob and son-in-law Isaac and they traveled to the river to dig out the clay. After doing all the tasks, the clay man was brought back to life and Rabbi Loew revealed to them the puprose of him. He called him a golem and said the golem's name was Joseph. They dressed him and went back to town.

The Rabbi orders the Golem to find where the murdered child was hidden and they come upon an old man who shows him to the cellar. At that time the police arrive, no doubt Thaddeus reported the murder. The Golem discovers a hidden staircase and the two go beneath the house and carry the child to Thaddeus's house. The murdered child is left with him and the two descend downstairs. The Rabbi then tells him of a rumor about a child's body hidden in Thaddeus' house. The captain doesn't want to take him seriously but at the sight of Golem he does.

Thaddeus became afraid when he saw the Golem and the Rabbi along with police. The captain told him of the accusation. Thaddeus told them to search the whole house. To his shock the body is discovered and he's taken into custody. Rabbie Loew is thanked by the police and the Jews are spared from pogrom.

The Golem continued to guard the Jews all night and day, searching for any evildoers and eventually everyone else, when they saw the powerful weapon that Jews had, stopped plotting against them.

Theme: Evildoers will get what's coming to them.

Jewish Music:

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