Ben Avuyah

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Mendy and the Golem ??

I've been reading an interesting book called, "the Pope and the Heretic" about cleric, Giordano Bruno, who was defiant towards the church during the Roman Inquisition (and was burnt at the stake for his efforts). During my reading I came across an interesting religious parallel to Judaism.

Here is a bit from Wikipedia about our own lore (

"In Sanhedrin 65b, is the description of Raba creating a golem using the Sefer Yetzirah. He sent the golem to Rav Zeira; Rav Zeira spoke to the golem, but he did not answer. Said Rav Zeira, "I see that you were created by one of our colleagues; return to your dust." "

But there is a similar legend regarding Thomas Aquinas, Albert Magnus, and Roger Bacon !

"They were said to have designed an automaton that could walk and talk and behave like a man, while conducting experiments to find the elixir vitale" (Charles Makey, "the alchemysts" in memoirs of extrodinary popular delusions, by richard bentley (london 1841) pp 105-7).

I guess Aquinas had an upgraded model Golem that could talk as well !

Of course no one's Golem has ever gotten as much billing as the Maharal's, but I thought it was neat that there exists a legend of another group of "sages" that stumbled upon the blueprints for creating life.