In Jewish folklore, a golem (/ˈɡoʊləm/ goh-ləm; Hebrew: גולם) is an animated anthropomorphic being, magically created entirely from inanimate matter. The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material (usually out of stone and clay) in Psalms and medieval writing.
The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late-16th-century rabbi of Prague. There are many tales differing on how the golem was brought to life and afterwards controlled.
The word golem occurs once in the Bible in Psalm 139:16, which uses the word גלמי (galmi; my golem), meaning "my unshaped form," connoting the unfinished human being before God's eyes. The Mishnah uses the term for an uncultivated person: "Seven characteristics are in an uncultivated person, and seven in a learned one," (שבעה דברים בגולם) (Pirkei Avot 5:6 in the Hebrew text; English translations vary). In Modern Hebrew, golem is used to mean "dumb" or "helpless." Similarly, it is often used today as a metaphor for a brainless lunk or entity who serves man under controlled conditions but is hostile to him under others. "Golem" passed into Yiddish as goylem to mean someone who is clumsy or slow.
The oldest stories of golems date to early Judaism. In the Talmud (Tractate Sanhedrin 38b), Adam was initially created as a golem (גולם) when his dust was "kneaded into a shapeless husk". Like Adam, all golems are created from mud, by those close to divinity; but no anthropogenic golem is fully human. Early on, the main disability of the golem was its inability to speak. Sanhedrin 65b describes Rava creating a man (gavra). He sent the man to Rav Zeira. Rav Zeira spoke to him, but he did not answer. Rav Zeira said, "You were created by the sages; return to your dust".
During the Middle Ages, passages from the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation) were studied as a means to create and animate a golem, although there is little in the writings of Jewish mysticism that supports this belief. It was believed that golems could be activated by an ecstatic experience induced by the ritualistic use of various letters of the Hebrew Alphabet forming a "shem" (any one of the Names of God), wherein the shem was written on a piece of paper and inserted in the mouth or in the forehead of the golem.
In some tales (for example, some versions of those of the golems of Chełm and Prague, as well as in Polish tales and version of Brothers Grimm), a golem is inscribed with Hebrew words, such as the word emet (אמת, "truth" in Hebrew) written on its forehead. The golem could then be deactivated by removing the aleph (א) in emet, thus changing the inscription from "truth" to "death" (met מת, meaning "dead"). Other versions add that after creating an entity out of clay, it would be brought to life by placing into his mouth a shem with a magic formula, and could later be immobilized by pulling out the shem, or by reversing the creative combinations, for, as Rabbi Jacob ben Shalom, who arrived at Barcelona from Germany in 1325, remarked, the law of destruction is the reversal of the law of creation.
Joseph Delmedigo informs us, in 1625, that "many legends of this sort are current, particularly in Germany".
The earliest known written account of how to create a golem can be found in Sodei Razayya by Eleazar ben Judah of Worms (1165–1230).
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The concept of Death has existed in many societies since the beginning of recorded history. In English, from the 15th century onwards, Death came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood, while the title of "the Grim Reaper" is first attested from 1847. In Jewish tradition, Death was referred to as the Angel of Death (Malach HaMavet) or the Angel of Dark and Lightstemming from the Bible and Talmudic lore. The Bible itself does refer to the "Angel of Death" when he reaps Egypt's firstborns, but he is not connected to Satan.
In some cases, the Grim Reaper can actually cause the victim's death, leading to tales that he can be bribed, tricked, or outwitted in order to retain one's life, such as in the case of Sisyphus. Other beliefs hold that the Spectre of Death is only a psychopomp, serving to sever the last ties between the soul and the body and to guide the deceased to the next world without having any control over the fact of the victim's death. In many languages (including English), Death is personified in male form, while in others, it is perceived as a female character (for instance, in Slavic and Romance languages).
Another character for my Legend of Eartheus and Myths and Legends set. I hope you guys like it.
|A collection of some of my favorite quotes to motivate me everyday to reach my goals.|
"In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."
- Eric Hoffer
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
- T.S. Eliot
"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
- W.C. Henley
"All men are created equal, some work harder in pre-season."
- Emitt Smith
“If you don't build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
- Tony A. Gaskins Jr.
“We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.”
- Earl Nightingale