Cosmic Reference Library Source Sheet
In Jewish tradition, the golem is most widely known as an artificial creature created by magic, often to serve its creator. The word “golem” appears only once in the Bible (Psalms139:16). In Hebrew, “golem” stands for “shapeless mass.”Jewish Virtual Library
Golems in Judaism
Resources from Web
- Overview of Golems
Rava says: If the righteous wish to do so, they can create a world…Indeed, Rava created a man, a golem, using forces of sanctity.Talmud, Sanhedrin 65.b
- Interpretations & Stories
- The Idea of the Golem by Gershon Scholem (Devotaj Evernote Archive)
- Interpretation of the Golem (My Jewish Learning)
- Jewish Word | Golem (Moment Magazine)
- Brave New Golems (Jewish Review of Books)
- The Golem Legend and the Jews of Prague (NY Times)
- Stories We Tell: The Golem (ReformJudaism.org)
- Why Golems are Precious (The Guardian)
- The Magic of the Golem by Peter Schafer (Academia.edu)
- Talmud and the Turing Test (Harvard.edu)
The golem is a highly mutable metaphor with seemingly limitless symbolism. It can be a victim or villain, Jew or non-Jew, man or woman—or sometimes both. Over the centuries it has been used to connote war, community, isolation, hope, and despair.Marilyn Cooper, Moment Magazine
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, something new happened. Golem/et began to arise en mass to protect not only the Jewish people, but also all in need and all the world (Yisrael v’Yishmael v’al kol yoshvei tevel). Unlike the golem of the past, these were not made from clay but rather from felt or glitter. They were soft, huggable, and quite fabulous.Devotaj Sacred Arts
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Book excerpts are from private files of Cosmic Reference Library including
- Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism
- JPS Guide to Jewish Tradition
- Tree of Souls
- The Jewish Story Finder: A Listing of 668 Tales Listing Subjects and Sources
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Note: The copyright for each of the books excerpted here is owned by the author and publisher. These excerpts are posted as a way of raising awareness of these great resources.