Ever heard of the Golem, the half superhero, half monster of Jewish legend? This creature, manifested from clay, has been serving Jewish needs, performing mundane tasks, and even defending entire Jewish communities for centuries. However, the Golem’s essence more importantly mirrors Jewish anxieties and desires, and serves as a profound commentary on power. As such, stories of the Golem morph with time, reflecting society’s shifting narratives, and reminding us of the enduring lessons from ancient myths.
00:38 History of golems
01:14 Golems for personal use
02:00 The Golem of Prague
02:53 The Blood Libel
03:16 The Marahal of Prague
03:28 How to make a golem
04:26 Jewish empowerment
05:20 The end result of unchecked power
06:11 Jews’ relationship to power
06:58 Golem-like creatures in other cultures
07:11 What the Golem represents in society
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Image and footage credits:
Ralli Museum, Ceasarea
— Barry Skolnick
— Shmuel Katz
About Explainers: From ancient Jewish traditions to the modern State of Israel, we explain it all. Diving into anything and everything related to Jewish culture, history, and even religion.
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