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The tale of the Golem is surely one of the most curious legends around--a Jewish superman myth that inspired everything from The Sorcerer's Apprentice to Frankenstein and that, arguably, contributed something to the passivity of Jews being fed into the maw of the Holocaust. Chayim Bloch's book collects the stories into a comprehensive presentation of the Golem and the Carl Boese/Paul Wegener silent film gives us a classic retelling. Rabbi Judah Loew is seeking to protect the Jews of Praque from slanderous accusations that they use the blood of Christians in religious ceremonies. He reads the stars and uses Kaballah to sculpt a giant clay creature, the golem, that becomes servant and protector, but is dangerously mindless. After intervening to save the Jews several times an apprentice's attempt to use him for personal purposes sends the golem out of control and nearly destroys the ghetto. The film is a prime example of German Expressionism and one of the pinnacles of the silent era. The story is, needless to say, haunting and it's easy to see why it has been so influential. Even if you're not a fan of silents -- and, I confess, I am not -- this is one you ought to see.


Grade: (A+)


See also:

    -Golem Page (Kay E. Vandergrift)
    -Golem (Wikipedia)
    -R' Chayim Bloch (26 June 1881- 23 January 1973) (Delatyn Authors)
    -EXCERPT: The Making of the Golem: from The Golem by Chayim Bloch
    -Golem Links (
    -ESSAY: The Golem as a Transpersonal Image (Brian L. Lancaster, School of Human Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University,)
    -ESSAY: The Golem Myth: From the clay of the Kabala to the steel of Metropolis. (Robert Looby, December 2004 , Three Monkeys)
    -ESSAY: The Golem in Literature, Film, and Stage (Mark R. Leeper, Club Notice of the Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society)
    -ESSAY: "Have I Got a Monster for You!": Some Thoughts on the Golem, The X-Files and the Jewish Horror Movie (Mikel J. Koven, October 2000, Folklore)
    -ARCHIVES: "gustav meyrink" (Find Articles)
-REVIEW: of THE GOLEM by Gustav Meyrink (Mario Guslandi)
    -REVIEW: of
-REVIEW: of Snow in August by Pete Hamill (Robert Lipsyte, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of THE GOLEM By Barbara Rogasky Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman and GOLEM: Written and illustrated by David Wisniewski (Susan Bolotin, NY Times Book Review) FILM:
    -VIDEO: The Golem (1920) (Internet Archive)
    -FILM SITE: The Golem (1920 (Kino)
    -INFO: The Golem (Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam(1920) (
    INFO: Der Golem (1914 (NY Times)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Carl Boese (
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Paul Wegener ( -BIO: PAUL WEGENER: MAN OR MONSTER? (Missing Liink)
    -The Golem Film Notes (New York State Writers Institute)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (James Newman, Images Journal))
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Neil Messenger, DVD Cult)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Noel Megahey , DVD Times)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Richard Scheib, The SF, Horror and Fantasy Film Review)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Ziggy's Video Realm)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Cathy Gelbin, Kino Eye)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Rotten)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Michael Koenig, Film Monthly)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Bret Wood, All About Jewish Theatre)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Marc Zimmer, Digitally Obsessed)
    -REVIEW: of Der Golem (Bilge Ebiri, The Film Journal)