Monday, April 9, 2012

Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague (1525)

The scholar Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague appears to have been born around the beginning of Passover in 1525. Today, he is mainly known for his creation of the Golem of Prague. Many authors have written about this clay man, brought to life by dangerous kabbalistic spells, and brought down by rubbing off one letter of the word written in Hebrew on his forehead. The word "truth" can be changed by removing one letter into the word "death" -- that's what the story says the rabbi wrote and changed.

I'm especially fond of the version by Elie Wiesel. According to some legends Loewe's Golem still remains hidden in a Prague synagogue attic. The Golem idea is very much alive in modern fiction, as I wrote here:

A Word on Golems in Science Fiction and other Fiction

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