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April 1, 2012 vol 8 no 1

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Bruce Ross

The Hidden Golem

Prague associated with Kafka and his critiques of evolving modern culture and its Chinese puzzle box bureaucracy and dehumanizing of the individual human often in an expressionist mode as in "The Metamorphosis" where the main character wakes transformed into a giant insect. But on several hours wait for a plane connection I wanted to visit the old city and one synagogue where a so-called golem, a human-like being, was supposed to have been created by Rabbi Lowe through Kabbalah in the sixteenth century to help protect the Jewish community. When the golem ran amok, Lowe deanimated it by rubbing the first letter of emet (truth) from the being's forehead to produce met (dead) and stored the being in the attic of the particular synagogue. The synagogue was closed that day. I touched the building and stared up toward the attic and a high gray door with a black Star of David on it.

Old-New Synagogue
metal hand holds lead
to a handleless door