Look, there’s a Golem!

A look at the golem in Yiddish and
         popular culture.
Hallmarks that you’ve got a Golem
• First mentioned in the Talmud, it’s the first
  story of creation by God of man. All g...
I.L Peretz “The Golem”
• Golem made in response to crimes committed
  against the Jewish population.
• Consider the morali...
The Golem of Prague (1920)
http://www.unexplainedstuff.com/images/geuu_03_img0530.jpg
Folktales “The Golem of Vilna”
• Not 100% golem: look, he’s got sand in him!
• Activated not by a spoken Name, but by a sc...
“Clay Golem”
http://www.ddmspoilers.com/mm_01/clay_golem.jpg
Yudl Rosenberg “The Golem and the
  wondrous deeds of the Maharal of
              Prague”
• Supernatural elements: divine...
“Random ‘Ember Golem’ from Dudgeon's and dragon
player”.
http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/misc4/golem2ember.jpg
Things to consider in popular culture

      Comics              Movies
More comparisons
Popular Novel      New music
Where do we go from here?
Questions to consider
• Is the Golem a ‘man playing god’ story?
• Consider the morality: Golems committing
  crimes on beh...
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Golem Presentation

  1. 1. Look, there’s a Golem! A look at the golem in Yiddish and popular culture.
  2. 2. Hallmarks that you’ve got a Golem • First mentioned in the Talmud, it’s the first story of creation by God of man. All golems must be made of clay, and anyone who created a golem was considered wise and powerful. • All golem’s are created with use of magic (or divine inspiration, depending on the writer).
  3. 3. I.L Peretz “The Golem” • Golem made in response to crimes committed against the Jewish population. • Consider the morality: the golem is ordered to kill in defence of the Jewish people. • The golem is given no literary dialogue, perhaps because golems were not known to speak.
  4. 4. The Golem of Prague (1920) http://www.unexplainedstuff.com/images/geuu_03_img0530.jpg
  5. 5. Folktales “The Golem of Vilna” • Not 100% golem: look, he’s got sand in him! • Activated not by a spoken Name, but by a scroll put in his ear. • Multiple powers: can talk to fish, leap buildings, change his appearance and fly. • Primary function seem to be to catch fish and perform tasks on the Sabbath (because being non-human, didn’t have to do all the tedious tasks). • Had a sideline job as a bouncer for the Jewish population. “When the governor heard about him...ah Lord, Lord...the golem, I mean the Gaon, sent the golem to slap the governor around a bit.” (pp.341)
  6. 6. “Clay Golem” http://www.ddmspoilers.com/mm_01/clay_golem.jpg
  7. 7. Yudl Rosenberg “The Golem and the wondrous deeds of the Maharal of Prague” • Supernatural elements: divine inspiration through dream to create the golem. • Human beings as mystical agents of the elements, learned men. • Obedient without being intelligent. • Reference to Blood Libel (false allegation of human sacrifice, usually aimed at the Jewish population).
  8. 8. “Random ‘Ember Golem’ from Dudgeon's and dragon player”. http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/misc4/golem2ember.jpg
  9. 9. Things to consider in popular culture Comics Movies
  10. 10. More comparisons Popular Novel New music
  11. 11. Where do we go from here?
  12. 12. Questions to consider • Is the Golem a ‘man playing god’ story? • Consider the morality: Golems committing crimes on behalf of a people or defending a people? • Active endorsement of magic and sorcery? • Is the golem ‘human’?
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