Every nation, even the smallest, necessarily has its own hero, its own legendary man. This is Superman, and the Russian heroes and Mary Poppins. Whether they really exist, or whether people invented them, is no longer recognizable. And in the 16th-century Prague Jewish ghetto, such a hero was a man born of clay. And his name is Golem – the future symbol of Prague.
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Staron Synagogue in Prague Terence Mendoza, Shutterstock.com
At that time, 3 ethnic groups lived in the Czech capital: the Czechs themselves, the Germans and the Jews. And there was a lot of the following: an entire Jewish city (Judenstadt) was formed within the Czech capital.
Legend has it that in the 1580s, despite the fact that Rudolph II was enlightened, the inhabitants of the Jewish quarters became more frequent than in Prague. This is confirmed by historical facts. Prague Jews were particularly severely persecuted during this period. Anti-Semitists spread rumors that the Jews were mixing Christian blood in their matzoh. Jewish life had become unbearable. The senior rabbi of the Prague Jews, Leo, could no longer look at the suffering of his people. In a dream, he returned with a tearful plea: “How can I protect the Jews?
The cleric knew that a special ritual was required to create a Golem. He called for the help of two of his friends and that evening a miracle was performed in the vicinity of the city, on the banks of the Vltava River.
Rabbi Leo took a piece of clay and posed in the shape of a man the size of 3 blocks. Then all three walked around the body. The rabbi then put a shem into the mouth of a clay man (God’s secret name, inscribed on parchment, inanimate animation) and thus breathed life into the monster.
So the Golems were created – the hope of the slums, their weapon against the oppressors, one of Prague’s most famous personalities.
As soon as Rabbi Leo took hold of his throat, the Golem came to life and stood on its feet. And together they go to the city.
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At first, the Golem was short, only 1.5 meters tall, but quickly grew and was very strong. His skin is brown. In general, outwardly, he is practically no different from a person. Just can’t say yes he always has a neck in his mouth.
By killing the enemy, the Golem allowed the Jews to breathe freely. For 13 years, a clay man terrorized the Jewish oppressors in Prague. At the same time, he helps Rabbi Leo in the family, fulfilling any orders. Finally, peace reigns in Prague. Anti-Semitism subsided, Jews felt safe.
The monster is losing control
Once misfortune happened in Leo Rut’s house. The cleric forgot to take the shema from the Golem’s mouth. He did this every Friday night so that the clay man would not be left alone on Saturday when the rabbi went to the synagogue.
On that unfortunate Saturday, Rabbi Leo, as usual, spoke in the synagogue in front of his parishioners. And suddenly he was interrupted: there was terrible news that the Golem had burst out of the house and began to destroy everything around. The cleric immediately jumped up and quickly overcame the golem, tearing the trees with their roots. The Jews hid in terror from their homes. Rabbi Leo goes to the raging monster and pulls a shem out of his mouth, this time forever.
It was the end of the clay man. The lion, along with the assistants, lifted the Golem’s body and placed it on the floor of the synagogue’s attic. There he was covered with old books and unnecessary rags. Leaving there, Leo forbade anyone to climb into the attic under the pain of death. They were afraid to break the ban for many years, even though Rabbi Leo was no longer dead. It was only in 1920 that Czech journalist Egon Erwin Kisz first went to the attic of the famous Staronova synagogue, who found nothing but old garbage …
However, the legend can no longer be erased from the memory of the people: the inhabitants of Prague still believe in the existence of the Golem. Residents of the city say that every 33 years, a Golem appears in the Jewish area of Prague, walks the streets, and then suddenly disappears in front of everyone.
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Whether there is a man from clay in the world or he was just invented, the legend of a guardian monster who rebelled against his creator forever entered Prague mythology. And in Poznan, on the alley of Karol Marcinkowski, even a monument to the Golem was erected.