Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Don't Be A Golem

            Don't be a Golem

Academics & scholars, frum or non-frum, Jews or non-Jews, consider The famous story of the 
Golem of Prague as fictitious. There is no evidence of the Maharal ever creating a Golem.

Probably the first mention of the Golem of Prague goes back to the year 1837. A Maskil by the name of Berthold Auerbach wrote a novel on Spinoza. In the fictional details of the Cherem, Spinoza declared not to  believe in the Golem of Prague was put in Cherem. Auerbach is trying to ridicule the Frum Yidden and their Cherem. For not believing in fairy tales they are put in Cherem.

These few lines in the novel are the first and only mention of the Golem. This part in the novel might have created the legend of the Maharal creating a Golem.

R. Yidel Rosenberg z"l who was a Rav in Lodz & Warsaw immigrated to Canada. He became a Rav in 
Toronto & later in Montreal. He claimed to have acquired from The (non-existent) Royal Library in Metz, 
manuscripts of R. Yitzchok Katz zt"l son in law of the Maharal.  One of them was the manuscript describing 
in detail the creation of the Golem. 

In the year 1908/9, Reb Yidel Rosenberg printed this manuscript and called it "Niflaos Maharal".

It was R.Y.Rosenberg's "Niflaos Maharal" which popularized the Golem story amongst the Yidden 
& eventually even amongst the Non-Jews.

Within the first year, after it was published, R, Mendel Eckstein z"l,  published a Sefer and called it Sefer Yetzira. 

He refuted the Sefer Niflaos Maharal and claimed it to be a fraud. He also claimed that some parts of the story 
would be even Halachically incorrect.

One of his proofs is (among many)  Ri Katz writes about a Talmid of the "Tosfos Yom Tov". In his days there was no such Sefer printed yet. R. Yom Tov Lipman Heller Wallerstein was not known as the Tosfos Yom Tov. Ri Katz could not have called him "The Tosfos Y.T."

Since then many more such proofs were found that the Sefer is a total fraud. One of the proofs is,  
he mentions the word "שעון"  (watch)  This word was invented a few hundred years later by Ben Yehuda.

In Seforim of that time or the ones printed within hundred years later none of them ever mention The Golem 
of Prague.

The Chacham Zvi who lived a hundred years after the Maharal mentions of a Golem created in Chelm a few 
hundred years before the Maharal. The Chida too speaks about the Golem in Chelm. They were both not 
aware of the Golem of Prague.

In Chabad, on the other hand, they do believe in the story of the Golem of Prague. The Rebbe zt"l writes,
his father in law (מהריי"צ) told him that he personally went up to the attic of the Altneu Shul and saw the 
remains of the Golem* there. 

Another reason from the Rebbe believing the story to be true is because even the Goyim knew about it and claim 
so to be true.

*The Sefer Niflaos Maharal (Y. Rosenberg) writes,"The Maharal placed the decommissioned Golem in the attic of the Altneu Shul."

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