Written in 1909, this is a delightful collection of tales about the renowned Rabbi Loew of Prague and the legendary creature he was said to have animated. Rosenberg’s golem serves the fragile Jewish community when they most need help, against threats of blood libel. Each of the tales showcases the wisdom, humanity, and common sense used by the Maharal (Rabbi Loew) in his dealings with the evil priest Thaddeus, the Good King Rudolf and the local police. All the trappings of the classic drama are here. The author gives us insight into 16th century Prague, but also into the “real time” of the manuscript, the early 20th century.
As Curt Leviant points out in his excellent introduction, this wonderful little book elaborated and defined the story of the golem, and paved the way for glorious reinterpretations until this day. (Pete Hammil’s Snow in August comes to mind.) Notes.