Golems in Jewish Tradition

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

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

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. 

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