Golem statue in Prague. Photo credit: Jason

Golem statue in Prague. Photo credit: Jason

The Golem

Famous for:

Golem_by_Philippe_Semeria.jpg

Being undead-ish


The Golem is a mystical creature of clay which can be animated to serve its human creator, usually for the purpose of protecting the Jewish community. However, it is also a powerful creature that can turn against its maker, making it ultimately impossible to control. Referenced in the Book of Psalms, the golem is explored more in depth in Jewish works beginning in the early 1200s. The most famous golem dates to Prague during the 1500s, when Rabbi Judah Loew supposedly created the golem but then was forced to uncreate it. He hid its pieces inside the attic of Prague’s Altneuschul (Old-New Synagogue), where it remains today. The golem is an element of Jewish folklore that speaks to the possibilities and perils of technological innovation, humanity’s hubris, Jewish power and powerlessness, and is today a popular folk symbol in the Czech Republic.


Appears in

Episode 61

Connected To

Rabbi Judah Loew