Golems in the News

This item came to my attention from the Prague Post:

“Contemporary alchemy: Petr Nikl offers a ritual to reanimate the Golem”

The Golem is a figure best-known from late medieval Jewish folklore, though it has earlier roots. Essentially it is a human-like figure made of clay, brought to life with the aid of letters of the Jewish alphabet, and is meant to act as a protector of the Jews. In some stories, though, the Golem turns on its creator. Some have noticed similarities between the Golem and popular superhero characters such as the Hulk. In this news item, Eastern European artist Petr Nikl’s installation is described in this way: “Upon entering the gallery, visitors are given instructions on a video screen to look for a sign or word that will revive the Golem.”

You may or may not want to revive the Golem, but in the spirit of the Yiddish folk stories of yesteryear, I wanted to offer my own take on the Golem story, one that intimates that the God of Israel is not only for the Jews but for the entire world. Of course, we know that this has taken place through the coming of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua. But the inhabitants of Vaysechvoos–they probably do not know, though it is possible that some of them do and aren’t telling. It is may even be that some of them are descended from Rabbi Loew of Prague, and who knows what knowledge they keep to themselves about God and Messiah?

Enjoy the tale, and if you want to know more about the Golem, you can jump from the 16th century to the 21st by plugging in the word “Golem” into the search engine at amazon.com.

Read about Golems in Rich Robinson’s entry of “In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos”


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Rich Robinson | San Francisco

Scholar in Residence, Missionary

Rich Robinson is a veteran missionary and senior researcher at the San Francisco headquarters of Jews for Jesus. Rich has written several books on Jewishness and Jesus, and he received his Ph.D. in biblical studies and hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1993.

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