There are legends of golems throughout the world. The roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons, has golems of many varieties, from flesh to stone to metal. Golems supposedly came from kabbalistic tradition, though there have been tales of the creation of being from magic in other cultures like the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. According to kabbalistic lore, a golem is an artificial living creature created using the sacred names of God.
One of the most famous legends about the golem is from Prague. A Rabbi used his magical prowess to combine the four elements fire, water, air and earth to give life to a sculpture made out of mud. The golem, Joseph, was created to protect the Jewish people of Prague against Anti-Semitic attacks. He was even given a special amulet that made him invisible.
There is a lot of conjecture about the size of the golem. Some say he was huge, while others say he was normal sized. Apparently, he was hard to tell apart from humans, except he couldn't speak. This was probably because in order to give him life, a clay tablet had to be inserted into his mouth. There are tales that he started out small and grew to a huge size. He did indeed grow stronger. And with more strength he became harder to control and grew destructive.
|Old New Synagogue in Prague by Petr Broz|
One day the people found the golem destroying the Rabbi’s house while he was in the synagogue singing psalm 92. The Rabbi rushed home and removed the tablet from the golem’s mouth. He never revived him again. The golem was supposedly placed in the attic of the synagogue. The stairs were removed and entrance was forbidden for centuries. However, when the attic was explored but no golem was found.
Are there any tales of created life or golems that are your favorites?