The Legend of the Golem

Context :

JH is 23 years old and from San Francisco, CA. They are a USC graduate I met a few months ago. They are a practicing Jew and heard a lot of Jewish legends growing up from their family.

Text :

“There is a pretty Jewish legend that I was always told. The legend of the Golem, which I’m probably going to butcher and my rabbi will be mad about it. It’s basically that this person made this man out of clay in order to protect his town… I think it was the rabbi who made the man out of clay. He wrote a word onto his head, I forget the word. But he was this six or seven foot tall man made of clay that was supposed to protect the town but ended up terrorizing it. He’s still in the attic of the actual place he was made, the clay man.”

Analysis :

Legends are interesting to analyze because they balance between the lines of real vs not real, and they can possibly be true. With the story of the golem, it remains a legend because although the clay man is still supposedly in the attic, it can’t necessarily be proven. People come from all over the world to see the attic, the way people would go out searching for bigfoot or the lochness monster. Originally, the golem was created to protect his people, but ended up terrorizing them. This bares similarity to the story of Frankenstein, which isn’t necessarily a legend. I’m unsure what the message of the golem is or if there even is a message since my informant didn’t fully remember the legend. Like bigfoot and the lochness monster, the golem is a legend about a large creature who ends up terrorizing humanity, leading to the humane fear of the “other”.