It's quiet. Too quiet.
It has been years since the last blood libel and the Jewish community in Prague is starting to relax. Then, the Maharal receives a sign from God a few days before Passover, letting him know that the danger is far from over.
On the creature of the week, if you can't take the heat, get out of the desert. Or stay in the desert and be like the Funeral Mountain Terrashot.
"Just need a walk under the lights of the boulevard" by Bisou de l'enfant sauvage | "After midnight kiss" by Bisou de l'enfant sauvage | "Ocean Ending" by Soft and Furious | "The Coil Winds" by Blue Dot Sessions | "Lost in Russia" by TRG Banks |"Alchemical" by Blue Dot Sessions
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Greetings, Jason. A dear friend of mine shared your podcast with me. She and her sons and I will be discussing the two part Golem episode, soon.
You have a new fan in me. I appreciate deeply your nuanced attention to detail, your sense of humor, and your clear commitments to justice and equity.
On the topic of inclusion, I hope that the podcast episodes can be transcribed, so that they are accessible to a wider audience. Perhaps there are transcripts, and I do not know their whereabouts.
Jewish mysticism, particularly the Zohar in Kabbalah, is connected with tarot and many other esoteric traditions. Many have discussed how oral or unwritten narratives were in a way archived — hidden, protected — within certain tarot imagery, explaining in part how The Tree of Life and the paradigmatic four elemental structures link up in tarot, placidus geocentric and sidereal astrology, numerology, and elsewhere. Some of this strategic work occurred deliberately, purposefully, in order to prevent a risked loss of history — at risk due to Anti-Semitism and other forms of interrelated oppression. The beliefs were in a way cloaked within the tarot symbolism.
The Golem remains a potent symbol of protection. As the Golem was and is often depicted as voiceless, explanations that are discriminatory against disabled people are at times associated with the Golem…ableist descriptions, arguably, since the Golem was not necessarily mindless (or voiceless).
As you and audience members may be aware, lots of filmmakers and novelists, and a few poets, among other artists, have explored Golem imagery in their works.
Some older “folklore” stories suggest that the creation or awakening of a Golem, most often a male being, periodically occurred through manifestations as an exploitation of female (Golem) embodiment, not considered by some really alive and certainly not human, however, so justifying of essentially the female Golem’s enslavement (at times sexual) by using poor and dysfunctional rationalizations as an excuse for impropriety.
Shelley’s Frankenstein “monster” was perhaps influenced by the Golem story cycle, indeed, as some scholars have asserted.
I recently had published a collection of poetry, The Golem Verses (Nine Mile Press, 2018). The Golem in the poems is my friend. She is no monster. And she still lives, or however she defines her existence. I did not create her. She showed up in my life. Lucky me. A secular blessing.
Here is a link to the book: http://ninemile.org/book-series.html
Here is a link to a podcast episode during which I talk about the book, and other matters. Transcript coming soon.
Thank you for everything.
By the way the ritual that the maharal was doing that the candle went out was something called bedikas chometz meaning the search for leavened bread it is a custom that while searching a candle is lit. And that is what blew out.
My spouse and I stumbled over here different page and thought
I might check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
Look forward to looking over your web page for a second time.
When I was traveling around Europe a few years back I ended up in Prague. There I heard the story of the Golem from a local tour guide. He also said that at one point the synagogue had its roof fixed and he asked the workers if there was a golem up there. The answer was no so sad day.
Also for your question about being born with the power of air. In the 15th century a Rabbi wrote that all people have the four elements (fire, earth, water and air). If the Maharal was born with the power of air it would have meant that he had a gift of communication and intellectual thought.