Friday, July 10, 2009

Who was Rabbi Loew and his Golem?

The name of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel probably means little if anything outside the Czech Republic but for the people of Prague, the Rabbi is one of the city’s most recognisable figures from the past. But the religious, pedagogical and philosophical legacy of this scholar remains a lively inspiration to this day. This year, September 7 marks the 400th anniversary of the renowned rabbi’s death and the Jewish Museum of Prague is presenting two parallel exhibitions that will help the general public and the visitors know who this man was and what happened to his legendary creature, the Golem!

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Believer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:40 PM, July 10, 2009  
Blogger Believer said...

Who was Rabbi Loew? Certainly not the man that is currently portrayed and being celebrated. Twice turned down for the position of Chief Rabbi of Prague, and who coincidentally packed his bags and left the city just weeks after his private meeting with the Emperor Rudolf II in February 1592. A man in conflict with his own community and who committed specific forbidden acts under the guise of religious mysticism. Singer and Rosenberg based their books on the original legend of the Golem of Prague and Rabbi Loew as passed down by Katz who just happened to be the Maharal's son-in-law. Obvious distortions occurred as a result but more so out of necessity than by accident. Yes, there was a banker involved, as was the mayor and several other prominent people just as the mythological tales reveal but what they don't tell you is that the Emperor did have reason to lay charges and historically, did take possession of the mayor's fortune after Meisel's death. These are all facts and the story as presented by Singer, although quaint and enchanting, does not provide the history behind the actual events. The crimes committed by the banker, the printing house and the Golem were more than legend but in actuality historical facts.
The reality was that in the year of 1588, the city of Prague was held in the grip of terror, victim to the murderous rampage of an inhuman monster created from the seeds of hatred and sown through religious intolerance and mortal greed. Not 1580 as the legend would have you believe. Rabbi Loew was still in Morovia in that year and didn't travel to Prague until 1586, the same time the priest Taddeush was leading the mobs against the Jewish community. Therefore the legend of the Golem must be viewed from this perspective to appreciate it fully.
I recommend reading Shadows of Trinity released by Eloquent Books in order to compare the legend against the historical documentation. Shadows of the Trinity, for the most part, is a non-fiction historical novel, revealing a series of strange and world-shattering events that occurred during the years 1588 and 1589 in Prague, the Bohemian capital of the Austro-Hungary Empire. It is a social commentary on why people believe that in order to achieve something good that they must commit evil to do so.

3:40 PM, July 10, 2009  
Blogger said...

Thank you for the info. i will certainly have to do more research on the matter. i will let you know...

6:29 PM, July 10, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home