Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Don't be a Golem

 Don't be a Golem

Most if not all scholars, consider the famous story of the 
Golem of Prague as fictitious. 
There is no evidence of the Maharal ever creating
a Golem.

The Golem of Prague legend was started indirectly by a
משכיל named Berthold Auerbach.

He wrote a novel on Spinoza. In the book he describes
how Spinoza was put into חרם because he didn't believe
in the Golem of Prague. 
Auerbach was trying to ridicule the Frum Yidden by
portraying them putting into חרם anyone who does not
believe in their fairy tales.

These few lines in the novel are the first mention of a
fictonal Golem of Prague and so the Golem legend.

was created.

R. Yidel Rosenberg z"l who was a Rav in Lodz & Warsaw
immigrated to Canada. He became a Rav in Toronto and later
in Montreal. RYR was a Talmid Chacham who wrote many
Sefarim.  He was also a novelist* who wrote Yiddish novels.

(דער שפאלער זיידע ועוד)

He claimed to have acquired the manuscripts of
R. Yitzchok Katz zt"l,son in law of the מהר"ל, from
The Great Library in Metz. (This library was nonexistent.)

One of these manuscripts described in detail the creation of
the Golem.  
In the year 1908/9, R. Yidel Rosenberg printed this manuscript
and called it "נפלאות מהר"ל".
It was R.Y.Rosenberg's " ספר נפלאות מהר"ל" which popularized
the Golem story amongst the Yidden and eventually even
amongst the Non-Jews.

Within the first year of the ספר נפלאות מהר"ל being published,
R, Mendel Eckstein z"l,  published a Sefer called ספר יצירה. 
He refuted the ספר נפלאות מהר"ל and claimed it to be a fraud.
He also claimed that some parts of the story would even be
Halachically incorrect.

*His grandson, Mordechai Richler was one of the most famous Canadian novelists.
** The Rebbe Rayatz Zt"l (Frierdiker Lubavitcher Rebbe)  climbed up the attic.
He never claimed to have seen the decommissioned Golem there but many
Chasidim claim that he did see the Golem there.

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