The patchwork entity that is my soul
Calls itself Frankenstein
in the cold
Formed of bailing wire
And a few scraps
that were not torn
Meager shards, salvage
d from the gutter
Just another scrap
It is all
that I own.
This not being one of my higher ranked node
s, I reckon it could use some improvement. Okay, so the poetry
bites. It's old, and I'm not much of a poet. Nonetheless there's a concept behind it that I still like. If I remember correctly (and I frequently do not) the feeling that went into it's creation
was that I could do nothing unique
. It seemed at the time that every idea I dreamed up was just a mixing and rehash
ing of old ideas. Thus I was not a unique human
, and just some sort of animate construct
, created from random scattered bits of pretty cloth
, whatever idea I happened to find 'shiny' enough to be appealing. Symbolic
ally speaking, of course.
Really though, there's a truckload
of excellent symbolism
behind the Golem. So, I'm going to make my best attempt a factual
write up on the legend. Be warned
, however, that I am about as far from an expert on the subject as you can get. The entire list of my Hebrew
credentials is that Yom Kippur
fell on my birthday a few years back.
The golem is a piece of Hebrew legend which has its basis in qabalah
(hebrew: learned wisdom. See cabala
). One of the main ideas behind the cabala is the potencey of language
. It involves a belief that every word, letter and number in the Torah
is divine, that the words themselves hold the power of creation
within them, and that by devoted study and meditation
on the book, one can discover these secrets. One of the things one can accomplish with such learnings is the creation of a golem.
The golem, in the most general sense, is an artificial
being brought to life by some form of magic. In the context of the Kabbalah, there are several recorded ways to create a golem. Nearly all of them involve a ritualistic
use of language, such as placing a scroll with the name of God written on it in the golem's mouth, or writing 'emeth
' on the golem's forehead. Purity
is extremely important in the creation of a golem. The clay
must be taken from virgin soil
, and the water
used must have never been placed in a vessel. The people (or person) who seek to create the golem must purify themselves physically and spiritual
ly beforehand. The idea is that impurities are barrier
s that stand between the creator of the golem and God
. Thus, the golem will always be imperfect
, because a human cannot be perfectly pure. Usually they are depicted as being mute
The most famous golem is probably 'The Golem of Prague
'. He was supposedly created to protect the Jews of Prague
from the blood libel
, which he did.
There are many parable
s about individuals who create a golem, only to have some misfortune occur as a result, usually because they used the golem for a task which was not pure in purpose.
Anyway, perhaps you can see why I find the myth fascinating
on many levels. The idea of inanimate matter that walks
and lives appeals to the biologist in me. We can, if we so choose, view ourselves in such a manner, as spontaneous golem
s of a sort, or perhaps more appropriately as golems who don't know who their creator
is. It's interesting to contrast one's impression of what it might be like to be a golem with what it is like to be a human in such a context
. It's easy to empathize
with the golem. Individually they are mysterious, mute and must perform the tasks given them by their creators, but do they think
, do they feel
? The golem is a silent, powerless
character, much like ourselves. Language is a powerful thing, I think, and the legend of the golem has a lot of that in it.
Plus, I always wanted to be somebody's protector
. A Catcher in the Rye
, so to speak.
So that's my golem stuff. Please, if you have any corrections, or better information, /msg
me. Looking for this stuff online is insane
. Not only is Kabbalah spelled about forty different ways, but 90% of what turns up is not good information
, but how-to guides by crazy wannabe mystics
. Makes me feel like I stepped into a page out of Focault's Pendulum
On an amusing side note, dictionary.com says:
"There are no less than two dozen variant spellings of kabbalah, the most common of which include kabbalah, kabala, kabalah, qabalah, qabala, cabala, cabbala, kaballah, kabbala, kaballah, and qabbalah"