January 4, 2022 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm #2048099
Do you think it’s real? I do.January 5, 2022 1:14 am at 1:14 am #2048242yungermanSParticipant
Hashem sent him down to the world to protect the hidden during the days of the Maharal of Prague ZTL.
Consider him Hashems Malach Gavriel for that generation
May we all do Teshuva ASAP so we don’t need haters of Israel as reminders to wake up to return to Hashem with Serious Teshuva and Achdus.January 5, 2022 1:15 am at 1:15 am #2048239MilhouseParticipant
No, I don’t believe the Maharal ever made a golem. My reason is that nobody ever heard of this story until the early 19th century. There are many stories of the Maharal, that have been told ever since he was alive; but there is no story about his making a golem.
The biggest proof is that Reb Tia Weil, who lived in Prague in the late 18th century and was a talmid of the Noda Biyhuda, a successor to the Maharal’s rabbonus, wrote a whole book about golems, containing ever fact he could gather about them, and yet he doesn’t mention that the Maharal made one. If the story were true, how could he not have heard of it? The only possible answer is that it hadn’t yet been invented.
So no. Reb Eliyohu Chelmer made a golem, probably some other people made them too, but the Maharal didn’t.January 5, 2022 7:53 am at 7:53 am #2048247rightwriterParticipant
If you check the Czech tourist website, they mention the “legend” of the Golem, and state that they went up there to the attic of the Maharal shul, and there was nothing there and they took pictures. Could it be it disintegrated or is not the actual location?January 5, 2022 7:53 am at 7:53 am #2048272tunaisafishParticipant
how do we know for sure that the goilem of chelm is real?January 5, 2022 8:37 am at 8:37 am #2048292akupermaParticipant
In the original accounts, he was usually invisible and worked by stealth. By definition, this would leave no trace, and its existence can be neither proved, not disproved.
The “modern” version of a “frankenstein” type creature who beats up goyim with brute force is reflective of the “haskalah”, and while reflected in the modern superhero genre (largely invented by frei Jews, probably based on non-frum Jews misunderstandings of the “golem”), has no real basis in Jewish tradition, and clearly never exist.January 5, 2022 9:27 am at 9:27 am #2048307GadolhadorahParticipant
If these stories somehow provide some relief, stress-relaxation, emunah confirmation or whatever, then go ahead and believe them, along with some of the more outlandish promises of segulahs and other new age stuff you see advertised on frum social media sites. In most cases, they do no harm and may actually provide a positive for some. At times, they strike me as borderline kefirah but I’m not one to judge.January 5, 2022 9:30 am at 9:30 am #2048303
Well the golem looked like a REGULAR person, but it couldn’t talk. It could walk through fire, pick up mountains, and go into water.January 5, 2022 9:49 am at 9:49 am #2048339GadolhadorahParticipant
TSB: Sounds like a frum superhero from a new Marvel productionJanuary 5, 2022 10:59 am at 10:59 am #2048362mobicoParticipant
I think that the original poster is a golem- er, troll .January 5, 2022 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #2048388
Where does it say that the golem is invisible? There are shailos in poskim if you can count one for a minyan…January 5, 2022 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #2048391
I read The Golem in my youth which was created to fight the Blood Libel with a shem and destroyed by removing it in the attic of the synagogue and it could not speak. There is a statue of the Maharal in Prague.January 5, 2022 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #2048440WolfishMusingsParticipant
There is a statue of the Maharal in Prague.
No one disputes that the Maharal was a real person.
The existence of a statue of the Maharal neither confirms or refutes the existence of a Golem.
The WolfJanuary 5, 2022 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #2048443MilhouseParticipant
Tuna, we know the Chelmer Golem was real, because Reb Eliyohu’s grandson, the Chacham Tzvi, said so.
Akuperma, what “original accounts”? There are NO accounts of this golem until the 19th century, and it starts immediately as this “superhero” figure. Also, we know golems aren’t invisible.
Gadol Hashtus, far from your assertion that believing these stories borders on kefira, denying that they’re possible is what at least borders on that, if it’s not actual kefira. We know that golems are real. The only question is whether the Maharal made one. I don’t believe he did, and therefore I don’t believe the stories told about this one. Maybe some of them are true stories about a different golem that were retold about this fictional one.
Eliezer, what has the statue of the Maharal got to do with it? Nobody doubts that he existed! Nobody doubts that most of the miracle stories told about him are true. I don’t think any real maamin doubts that he could have made a golem if he had wanted to. The only question is whether he did, and I think the answer is “no”.January 5, 2022 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #2048469Shalom-al-IsraelParticipant
ספר יצירה is realJanuary 5, 2022 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #2048502
i thought that is why the statue was erected. The Chacham Tzvi. 93 paskens that a golem cannot be included in a minyan as it has no neshama. A sleeping person, maybe has the place of the neshama, see SA O’CH 55,6 and the Taz argues s’k 4.January 5, 2022 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #2048510
But seriously, the maharal knew a lot of kabbalahJanuary 5, 2022 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #2048509January 5, 2022 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #2048525
If you think Maharal is so awesome, you should cling to each of his words. Let’s raise hands here – how many books by Maharal did you learn?January 5, 2022 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #2048558
I know the stories are for sure not true. The person who wrote them in his book said that they were made up. But that is not where we know the golem of prague from. I don’t if know if for sure it’s true, but it’s not for sure not true.
I know of a story that the Rayaatz, the fifth lubavitcher rebbe, once went to prague with his father, the Rashab, when he was a kid. They were visiting the Altnue shul and the Rayaatz was so filled with curiosity that he snuck up to the attic, and looked around. I’m not sure what he saw, but the Rashab was very harsh with him and told him that he suffered for months after because of what he did.
Now, even if there weren’t any remains found, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – we can’t either find a the aron or any of the keilim, they were hidden so well.
The maharal wanted nobody to find his golem, he knew how desrutcive it could be. It’s very possible on of his talmidim hid the remains so nobody could use it again.
I think he hid it between the seforim.January 5, 2022 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #2048561☕️coffee addictParticipant
“If you think Maharal is so awesome, you should cling to each of his words. Let’s raise hands here – how many books by Maharal did you learn?“
That’s like saying “if you think רבינא & רב אשי we’re great people you should do the same! How many מסכתות did you learn”
The first part has no relation to the second part of the statementJanuary 5, 2022 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #2048584
The steipler in letters originally referred to the maharals golem as “yadua”, but when some doubts were raised, he later referred to it as “omrim olov”January 6, 2022 11:44 am at 11:44 am #2048761
The Chacham Tzvi above mentions the Chelem golem but not the Maharal’s golem.January 6, 2022 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm #2048777
I doubt the Golem of Prague existed but why wasn’t he mentioned by… isn’t really such a question?
According to all version of the Golem story it’s existence was a strict secret at the time. Therefore it would make sense for people not to have heard of it. That would also explain why there is no written reference to it prior to the 18th century.
On another note while I doubt the Golem existed I also don’t believe that the origins of the legend are some obscure 19th century author . It could not have become such a widespread legend on the basis of some author who 99.99999% of people ever heard of in any context other than the claim that he was the one to make up the storyJanuary 6, 2022 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #2048786
AAQ, the gemara doesn’t criticize ravina there – lots of behaviors of tzadikim look strange upon first glance…amoraim used to marry a woman for a day or two if they were traveling to save themselves from hirhurim – these actions require the same scrutiny that we give their maamarimJanuary 6, 2022 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #2048792
“On another note while I doubt the Golem existed I also don’t believe that the origins of the legend are some obscure 19th century author . It could not have become such a widespread legend on the basis of some author who 99.99999% of people ever heard of in any context other than the claim that he was the one to make up the story”
I don’t follow so Sherlock Holmes, and Peter Pan have some truth because they are so well known? they cant just be from a 19th (early 20th for the latter) century author?January 6, 2022 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #2048843
>>>I don’t follow so Sherlock Holmes, and Peter Pan have some truth because they are so well known?
I’m not sure what the question is. An unheard of 19th century author would not be about to create a universally known legend and remain unknown. That has no bearing on the fact that universally known fiction writers still write fiction.
>>>they cant just be from a 19th (early 20th for the latter) century author?
not sure what you saying with this at allJanuary 6, 2022 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #2048852
The authors aren’t unknown. You may not have heard of them but many authors of Golem stories are known. Wikipeida provides a list Berthold Auerbach, Gustav Philippson, Franz Klutschak, Adam Tendlau , Leopold Weisel
Much like most people can’t name the author of Peter Pan
There are lots of made up stories that achieve fame. Far more than the Golem.
You are right perhaps those arent the best comparisons a better comparison would be Vampires who invented it ? nobody knows yet it is something most people have heard of (far more than the Golem) Does that lead credence to their existence? OF course notJanuary 6, 2022 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #2048849
Fictional stories are known as fiction. Factual stories are either factual or usually based on something true that may have developed over time.
It’s a valid point that the talmidim of the maharal should be expected to have mentioned something, especially when the tosfos yom tov spends time describing his rebbe, so it’s hard to attribute it to others reasons, such as missing writings etc..
On the other hand, klal yisroel has adopted this story – when we start dismissing such traditions out of hand, we are on a slippery slope… Of course some people here are already on the bottom of that slope, but that’s another discussion that is far more important than whether or not the maharal actually made a golem. For me it makes almost no difference if he did or not, but the impulse towards rationalism and the attempt to remove the spiritual from our history is the truly scary thingJanuary 6, 2022 5:42 pm at 5:42 pm #2048861
> I don’t follow so Sherlock Holmes, and Peter Pan have some truth because they are so well known?
Can we stop destroying everything!? I personally was in Sherlock Holmes’ home and I have a (Purim) hat to prove it.January 6, 2022 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #2048859
front page article provides this explanation for a more drastic case:
> there can be a complete disconnect between an individual’s talent and the evil that he commits
I don’t agree with this. I think this is downplaying what a Talmid Chacham is.January 6, 2022 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2048868BaltimoreMavenParticipant
Of course the Maharal made a Golem.
The goyim in Prague also believe it.
They will tar and feather any denier.
Unfortunately all of the Jewish tour guides we’ve had in Prague were Golem deniers, anti-Golem.
My wife is an einekel from the Maharal but not from the Golem.January 6, 2022 6:39 pm at 6:39 pm #2048865
“On the other hand, klal yisroel has adopted this story – when we start dismissing such traditions out of hand, we are on a slippery slope”
The reverse is true
when every made up nonsense gets elevated to Torah misinai, the line of whats real and whats not becomes blurred THAT is a slippery slope problemJanuary 6, 2022 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #2048866
smerel > An unheard of 19th century author
avira >> On the other hand, klal yisroel has adopted this story – when we start dismissing such traditions out of hand, we are on a slippery slope
This is a slippery slope. Kuzari principle states that the Torah is proven v. other religions because it was given publicly to millions of people, rather than a small band of people, and then passed thru generations and could not have been conceivably introduced later on. If we take our trust in Golem to the same degree, we will successfully disprove Kuzari.January 6, 2022 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #2048875
Tosfas says in Bava Metzia that Ravina ate from a mashkante denechuyasei, deducting from the collateral the use, as he did not see himself a talmid chacham. The question is, when it comes to stringencies about ribus doesn’t he have to be machmir? Maybe, he didn’t consider himself a talmid chacham in other things also.January 6, 2022 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #2048904
Ubiq, everyone agrees that there were other golems in the past, so i don’t think it can be called “nonsense”. The issue isn’t if we want to be materialists and deny it on the grounds of it not being scientific, the issue is of historical veracity.
I agree that elevating nonsense is a problem, but I don’t see that happening here.January 6, 2022 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm #2048908
AAQ, my point was that people are in different moods when they are learning. Maybe I used the wrong words to describe it.January 6, 2022 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm #2048964
TS Baum, I hear you, but we should take that learning mood and project it to the rest of our lives.January 7, 2022 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #2049090
AAQ, your right, but it starts by learning.January 9, 2022 12:10 am at 12:10 am #2049330mdd1Participant
Chas ve’sholom, to speak about Ravina the way some posters did here.January 9, 2022 12:31 am at 12:31 am #2049342
mdd1, I am not “speaking about Ravina”, I am asking a question specifically because of the his stature. I hope you have a good explanation.
I have a related question about “hasid ehad” who used to speak with Eliahu. Then he blocked the entrance (and poor could not come in) and Eliahu stopped coming. Presumably, the hasid noticed that Eliahu stopped coming. Surely, he then did teshuva and opened the entrance – based on the principle that T’Ch sinning in the evening does teshuva before morning. Then, Eliahu is so strict that he would not come even with teshuva. Alternatively [less likely, but suggested by Gemora not mentioning teshuva] the hasid prefers comfortable living to Eliahu’s visits? Then, what kind of hasid he was to begin with? Did he change in one day?January 9, 2022 1:40 am at 1:40 am #2049357HaLeiViParticipant
What has been overlooked is the fact that Reb Eliyahu Bal Shem actually lived in Prague at one point. The legend of the Golem is quite old and moved around, but originally not by Jews.
Perhaps, the news went out about Reb Eliyahu Bal Shem’s Golem in Prague, but spread to people who haven’t heard of him. They associated it with the more families mystical rabbi of Prague.January 9, 2022 6:37 am at 6:37 am #2049404
Halevi, that sounds plausible – doesn’t explain why so many kehilos accept it as the maharal, but this is the the closest thing to an explanation I’ve heard yet – bravoJanuary 9, 2022 10:24 am at 10:24 am #2049446
interesting, and even as Eliahu was chief rabbi (sic!) of Chelm, this does not sound like a joke!
He lived a short life born after and died before Maharal, there is 1630 book assigning Golem and “old synagogue” stories to him. Chacham Tzvi, Yaakov Emden are his descendants.
I don’t see references to him being in Prague, but I also don’t see references that he was not (sorry for using Chelm style!)
For further confusion, there was another Eliyahu Bal Shem _Loanz_ who was born at a similar time and actually was Maharal’s student. So, maybe this is how golem was transferred – through confused references to two Bal Shems?January 20, 2022 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #2052892yid38Participant
A goy from Prague I knew from work described how the golem was accepted as fact and a statue was actually built and still stands. I think if it was fiction the story would have been forgotten long ago.January 20, 2022 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #2052941
>>>This is a slippery slope. Kuzari principle states that the Torah is proven v. other religions because it was given publicly to millions of people, rather than a small band of people, and then passed thru generations and could not have been conceivably introduced later on. If we take our trust in Golem to the same degree, we will successfully disprove Kuzari.
Totally off topic but it would have no bearing on the Kuzari. The Kuzari is discussing a belief that STARTED off claiming to have been witnessed by millions of people. An author making something up that goes on to become widely believed is no comparison. e.g. It is very easy to get both the pro and anti Trump crowds to believe all sorts of lies about him . But you could never convince either crowd that his first inauguration never happened or that his second one did. That is the scale of the lie the Kuzari is referring toJanuary 24, 2022 2:08 pm at 2:08 pm #2054161HaLeiViParticipant
The proofs from his students aren’t really strong claims. Although the Tosafos Yom Tov lived in Prague and admired the Maharal, it doesn’t seem that he was actually particularly close to him. He does not quote him on anything outside of his published Sefarim. The only personal description we have is the Mishnayos groups, which was experienced by all of Prague.
As for R. Dovid Ganz, he was even less of a student. He finished his work, Tzemach Dovid, during the Maharal’s lifetime. His last mention of the Maharal is about him returning to Prague.
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