Golem





According to Jewish legend, a golem was a human-shaped object brought to life by a magic word. Usually the golem functioned like a robot and could perform simple tasks. However, in some tales, the golem became a violent monster that could not be controlled, even by its creator.

Although the idea of a golem goes back to biblical times, most legends about the creature appeared during the Middle Ages. Typically, the golem came to life when a special word such as truth or one of the names of God was written on a piece of paper and placed on the golem's forehead or in its mouth. At any point, the creator of the golem might end its life by removing the paper with the sacred word.

In a famous story from the 1500s, Rabbi Judah Low ben Bezulel of Prague created a golem from clay. In another legend, set in Poland, a golem made by Rabbi Elijah of Chelm became so powerful and dangerous that the rabbi hurriedly changed it back into a lifeless heap.

See also Semitic Mythology .



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