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Legend of Prague´s Golem

Rabi Low a Golem

Today we will transfer to Prague, namely to the 16th century – the reign period of the Emperor Rudolph II. It was a period of disturbances, when the Jewish inhabitants were suffering from numerous pogroms and other riots. Rabbi Löw was trying to protect the inhabitants of the Prague ghetto and he also provided them with spiritual comfort. The legend of the Golem of Prague started to spread in effort to avert the riots of the neighbouring Christian inhabitants.

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Creation of Golem artificial man - Golem
Rabbi Löw is said to have had a dream in which a sign occured: Make a creature of mad who that help you against all the enemies! And so it was. One night, few days later, he and another two scholars dressed in white robes went behind the town. In the morning they reached the place where they close to the river Vltava found the right, fine and humid mud of which they formed a figure of a huge man - Golem. Afterwards Rabbi commanded one of the scholars to go seven-times round Golem while he was saying sacred words. During this ritual the body of mud dried up and changed into glowing iron. One of the pupils performed a similar procedure and the body started to cool down. Finally the ritual was repeated by Rabbi himself. After he had made the seventh circuit he leaned to Golem and he inserted a card with a secret sign into his mouth. As soon as he did so Golem had opened his eyes and started to get up.

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Golem in the ghetto artificial man - Golem
Rabbi and his men dressed Golem and they took him back to Prague. They brought him along to the house of Rabbi Löw and said it was a new servant. He was helping in the synagogue during the day but he fulfilled his main tasks in the night. He was walking through the streets of the Prague ghetto and was guarding to prevent any attacks against the Jewish inhabitants who he protected. According to a legend a maid from a Christian family got lost in the neighbourhood of the Jewish Ghetto. The first suspected, selected by the Christians, was Golem who they were scared of. There was no other way how to prove his innocence except for finding the lost maid. So Rabbi ordered Golem to go and find her. It took him some time to find her and the situation calmed down for some time again.

Golem´s destiny Old-New Synagogue
Gradually his power grew and grew so to and fro Rabbi took out the „shem“ – which he had under his tongue – to weaken his power. Unfortunatelly, one day he forgot to take it out and Golem was brimming over with energy until he could not control himself anymore. He ran out to the street and he was like mad breaking everything what was in his way. However, Rabbi arrived in a while, commanded Golem to stop it and he took the „shem“ out and replaced it by a new one. Then he told him to leave and take a rest in the attic of the Old-New Synagogue. Golem obeyed, went to the attic where he lay down and fell asleep. In the meantime Rabbi Löw called his

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two assistants who had helped him activate Golem and together they went to the synagogue. They stood around the sleeping Golem and backwards uttered the magical formula which they had used for his activation. Golem strated to weaken, his body was decomposing and finally nothing but dust remained from the huge figure.

Since that moment it had been forbidden to enter the attic of the synagogue. The restriction was followed for long years. The first man who dared to enter the attic of the synagogue was a researcher and chief Rabbi of Prague Rabbi Landau in the 18th century. Apparently, he returned completely pale, shivering all over and immediately again forbade to enter the attic of the synagogue without telling anybody what he had seen up there. The attic was closed for long years yet the researchers have not found any remains of Golem there.

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