With a double teaching load dumped on my head unexpectedly last week, I have missed some calendar dates. People in masks and cute costumes have been walking the streets since Friday night, looking rather less frightening than adorable. I am repeating my humble but sweet contribution to this day of friendly ghosts and miniature monsters demanding treats.
We don’t do Halloween, but we have our own monsters. One of them is world famous. You see his heavy footprints throughout the world literature and arts, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to The X- Files. You hear his eerie voice in Karel Capek’s R.U.R., where the word “robot” comes from, in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, recognizable as Gollum, and in Isaac Bashevis Singer’s The Golem which actually relates the old legend (or at least one of them).
It is said that Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the Maharal of Prague created a golem out of clay to protect the Jewish community from Blood Libel and to help out doing physical labor, since golems are very strong. Upon the Maharal’s demise, in 1609, the golem no longer functioned, thus it was stored in the attic of the Maharal’s Synagogue, known as the famous Staronova (Old-New) Synagoga of Prague and…
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