The Golem of Prague

Discussion in 'Esoterica' started by MrRING, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    Okay:

    In the legend of the Golem, isn't it a particular Rabbi and a particular synagogue that the Golem was stored in and eventually left when the letter for life was rubbed out?

    Does this building still exist? Or is the Golem considered just a story or myth with no basis in reality?

    And why did the Golem go crazy and attack people according to the story?

    Here is a nice recap of the story of Rabbi Loeb's creation of the creature:

    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/r/rabbi_loeb.html
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    That would be Rabbi Loew (not Loeb). The Golem was supposedly left beneath a pile of old prayer scrolls in the attic of the Old New Synagogue in Prague (which still exists and which I've visited), where (being made of clay) it probably crumbled to dust.
     
  3. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    Ged -

    Did the people there view it as just a legend or a genuine religious moment?

    Also, the site I linked to said you could still see the Golem's outline.... I'm guessing you didn't...:(
     
  4. many_angled_one

    many_angled_one Ephemeral Spectre

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    Only thing I know about it is that it was in the Vampire: The Masquerade : Redemption computer game. Basically the golem had a prayer tablet embedded in it's forehead that animated it ...in the game that is.

    hmm... i shall have a look at the real legends.
     
  5. Inhabitant

    Inhabitant Devoted Cultist

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  6. Inhabitant

    Inhabitant Devoted Cultist

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    What - reading Meyrink's "The Golem" would spoil Ackroyd's "Dan Leno..."?
     
  7. Inhabitant

    Inhabitant Devoted Cultist

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    I've been meaning to read it for a while now, maybe I'll get round to it soon.

    I picked up a German early silent film take on the Golem legend a few months ago on DVD - it was really impressive, incredibly atmospheric. Creepy in the same way that the original "Nosferatu" is.
     
  8. Breakfastologist

    Breakfastologist Abominable Snowman

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    Said golem also recieves some fictional visits in "Feet of Clay" by Madge Piercy (strongly recommended) and "Maxie's Demon" by Michael Scott Rohan (good, but not up to the standard of his other Spiral books).
     
  9. gremlinclr

    gremlinclr Junior Acolyte

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    This is a review for a movie I saw a long time ago about the subject. It was cheesy but interesting none the less. :spinning
     
  10. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Anyone seen 'The Keep', a really excellent film made in the 80's?
    It starred mostly German actors, and was very atmospheric - almost believable.
    This film was about a golem held inside a stone keep for hundreds of years. It is set free when the Germans invade during WWII, and starts wreaking its revenge.

    http://www.ifilm.com/filmdetail?ifilmid=2320187
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    More fictional golems appear in the work of Terry Pratchett and in Michael Chabon's fabulous "The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay". Probably not much use in researching the real thing, though ;)

    And, Mythopoeika , I've seen "The Keep" and it is a very good, atmospheric film, although I'm not sure about the "mostly German actors", considering that , admittedly alongside Jurgen Prochnow, it stars Ian McKellen (English), Scott Glenn (American) and Gabriel Byrne (Irish)! And it is most disturbing that the end theme is an instrumental version of "Walking in the Air" from "The Snowman" ... :eek:
     
  12. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    Here is an amusing anti-"The Keep" site, and it isn't nearly as bad as this site says, since I thought it was a cool film (I'm including the link because I think it's pretty funny).

    http://www.ghosts.org/rj/keep.html

    And I never knew it was about a golem, although I saw it at a time when I didn't know what a golem was....

    BTW, there is also an award winning comic called "The Golem's Mighty Swing" that updates the golem action to an early 20th century baseball club.
     
  13. GodzillaGirl

    GodzillaGirl Devoted Cultist

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    The "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" has that same creepy silent German film feel, but that was a somnambulist and not a golem. I vaguely remember a silent Russian film with a golem, but I can't remember the name for that one - but I do remember liking it. I also have a children's book about the Golem of Prague somewhere. I'll have to dig that one out of the bookcase.
     
  14. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    OK, that's my memory at fault - I stand corrected. It was filmed in Hungary, I believe. Funny about the tune - this was years before 'Walking in the Air' became famous, I believe.
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I saw The Keep. I was confused, mostly. Also slightly put out by the post-1943 colour scheme on the vehicles when it was meant to be in 1940-41. Tsk.
     
  16. Dennis_De_Bacle

    Dennis_De_Bacle Justified & Ancient

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    Yes the book is better than the film. I read the book then saw the film.
     
  17. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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  18. Inhabitant

    Inhabitant Devoted Cultist

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    That's the one I've got on DVD - it's awesome.
     
  19. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    Off my last link, I found this site:

    http://www.sff.net/people/d.honigsberg/ravasman.htp

    Which is probably the best magical discussion of making a golem that I've read. Seems that the secrets are a combination of knowledge from the Sefer Yetzirah and that at least two people must work on it. Apparently, the terms used are the secret words that God used to create the universe.

    An interesting read...
     
  20. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    An interesting new comic is out by DC about the golem, it's called the Monolith.

    Here is a good review:

    http://www.popmatters.com/comics/monolith-1.shtml

    And an excerpt:
     
  21. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Golems also feature in Terry Pratchett's newly released book 'Going Postal' (which is superb BTW - best 'adult' Pratchett book that I've read in years).
     
  22. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    Interesting tidbits from the link I found before:

    http://www.sff.net/people/d.honigsberg/ravasman.htp
    and

     
  23. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    You can also read Pratchetts 'Feet of Clay' it's entirely based around Golems. - Similarly a good read.

    We've had reference to RPG's already, in the mention of Vampire Masquerade.. but in a number of different roleplaying systems the creation of a golem requires blood sacrafice and the eyes/heart need to be high quality jewels. The Golem will also follow the last command of it's creator.. even after his/her death.

    I realise this is 'fiction' not myth. (if there is a difference between the two?) - However.. i have to say that Palladium Books for one.. Research their material to a shocking degree and I would ask if anyone has seen any material regarding the creation of Golems outside of 'roleplaying'..?
     
  24. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    The link I had earlier is, from what I can tell, the true history of the Golem, unless I'm reading it wrong. I'd love to know more if anybody can find it.
     
  25. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    On the subject of the Golem in fiction there's a fantastic book called " The Tribe " about a jewish rabbi who creates a golem to take revenge on the nazi soldiers in a concentration camp , then recreates it to punish the gang who murder his son in New York ( I think ) years later . I can't remember the author offhand , but it has a few good scenes about constructing the Golem .
    Also " Another Scandal in Bohemia " by Carole Nelson Douglas is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche set in Prague which features the Golem , haven't read this one yet but the combination of the two sounds fun !
    ( Just found The Tribe - it's by Bari Wood , ISBN 0450055124 )
     
  26. kitsunegari

    kitsunegari Devoted Cultist

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    A golem also features in an episode of The X Files - "Kaddish".
     
  27. glamour_dust

    glamour_dust Devoted Cultist

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    WEBSITE:
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    Golems, zombies and frankenstein?

    After watching an old X-files episode I decided to do a quick google for information on golems. I found this wonderfully named site

    How to Create a Golem From the Comfort of Home

    Aside from "golem-ingredients" it contains the history and lore of golems, even suggesting them as the inspiration for frankenstein. I find it interesting that the idea of animating the inanimate to create human-like creatures can be found across diverse cultures. So feel free to post other golem-like stories of fact, fiction or lore to this thread. Seems like a nice topic to explore further.
     
  28. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    We've got a pretty enlightening Golem thread here:

    [Emp edit: Threads merged link removed]

    That's worth checking out!
     
  29. Mighty_Emperor

    Mighty_Emperor Beloved of Ra

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    Re: Golems, zombies and frankenstein?

    Thanks for the info (I have merged this with the existing golem thread as it is a fascianting subject and well worh a bump ;) ). I'm unsure I agree with their idea that it is an influence on Frankenstein - see the Wikipedia entry for some of the major inspiration:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein#Themes

    The golem entry is also interesting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golem

    and I'd certainly lean more towards the fact that it is a very holy individual tapping into something close to the powers of Creation.

    Another good page:
    www.scils.rutgers.edu/~kvander/golem/ba ... golem.html
     
  30. glamour_dust

    glamour_dust Devoted Cultist

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    fantastic thread. Indeed worth a bump. I've got three of the suggested books lined up for reading in the immediate future. I wonder if people truly believe in the existence of such creatures? Are they considered real or just an obscure folklore? could such a thing be possible?
     

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