May 24, 2009

HERO WITH, LITERAL, FEET OF CLAY:

Dawn of a new era for superhero born in the ghetto (Dan Bilefsky, 5/24/09, Scotland on Sunday)

There are now Golem hotels, Golem door-making companies, Golem clay figurines (made in China); a recent musical starring a dancing Golem; and a Czech strongman called the Golem who bends iron bars with his teeth. The Golem has also infiltrated Czech cuisine: the menu at the non-kosher restaurant called the Golem features a "rabbi's pocket of beef tenderloin" and a $7 "crisis special" of roast pork and potatoes that would surely have rattled the venerable Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, credited with creating the Golem.

Even US first lady Michelle Obama paid her respects when she visited Loew's grave last month and placed a prayer on a piece of paper and put it near his tombstone.

His creation is well known to the millions of readers of author Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, in which Golems, derived from Jewish tradition, play a starring role.

Eva Bergerova, a theatre director who is staging a play about the Golem, said it was no coincidence that this central European story is ubiquitous at a time of swine flu and economic distress.

"The Golem starts wandering the streets during times of crisis, when people are worried," Bergerova said.


The old silent, Der Golem is worth watching.


Posted by Orrin Judd at May 24, 2009 7:12 AM
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