Browsing the archives for the The Golem of Prague tag.


Golem Stories and Cities of Light

Events, Lily's notes, Literary event, Theater

I just can’t get enough of that Golem. The many forms, retellings and spin-off s are always fascinating. 

In the best known version of  legend, The Maharal of Prague, Rabbi Judah Loew, created a living man out of clay with the intention that this creature would protect the Jews of Prague from anti-Semitic attacks.

Things get quite out of hand with this golem just going much too far, and The Maharal has to find a way to kill this creature he created. This story is very moving and works on all  levels, both the allegorical and literal.  Many plays and stories have been based on the Golem, or are a re-telling of the story. Frankenstein’s Monster and  Supermanand other super-heroes owe a great deal of their lineage to The Golem.

The idea of a golem has an extremely long history in Jewish culture:  it  is a living,  human-like creature but lacks a soul, it is always made of clay by a  holy man and implies a good deal of hubris in imitating the divine creation. It always gets out of hand. In some versions, the creator of the golem must write on the forehead of the golemor written place notes inside of its mouth to get it under control or to even kill the  wild,  out of control Golem! 

 Golem Stories is a staged retelling of the golem story by on  May 27, 2009 at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th St, at 7pm, followed by a discussion of Jewish legends and midrash. This evening is free but you must register in advance.

While on the CJH site check out their cabaret night called Cities of Light scheduled for June 10 at 6:30pm.

Both of these evening are part of the  Untitled Theater Company’s  Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas May 20 through June 14. They will have over 100 performances at many venues throughout the city.

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