Golem

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In Jewish folklore, a golem (Hebrew: גולם‎; English pronunciation: /ˈɡoʊləm/ GOH-ləm) is an animated anthropomorphic being, created entirely from inanimate matter. The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing.[1] The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late 16th century chief rabbi of Prague.

Contents

History

Etymology

The word golem is used in the Bible to refer to an embryonic or incomplete substance. Psalm 139:16 uses the word גלמי, meaning my unshaped form, which then passed into Yiddish as goylem.[2] The Mishnah uses the term for an uncultivated person: "Seven characteristics are in an uncultivated person, and seven in a learned one", Pirkei Avos 5:9 in the Hebrew text (English translations vary). Similarly, golems are often used today as a metaphor for brainless lunks or entities who serve man under controlled conditions, but are hostile to him in others. Similarly, it is a Yiddish slang insult for someone who is clumsy or slow.

Earliest stories

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