I bought the book of Jewish fairy stories in Prague; it is an English translation. It is a little like the Brothers Grimm meet Orthodox Judaism. There are stories of men who discover Gold and Rabbis who cheat death. In particular the stories focus on one Rabbi, Rabbi Loew, who creates the Golem, a man fashioned from clay and brought to life. The purpose of the Golem is to protect the Jewish community but he never seems to be used for this and shortly afterwards the Rabbi, by saying the original prayers backwards, returns the Golem to clay.
The trouble with these sort of religious stories is that morality is repeatedly confused. In Rabbi Loew the Benefactor of the Jews in Prague the good Rabbi persuades Emperor Rudolph that "the whole community should never in future be held responsible for the guilt of the individual." This is clearly right and proper and a bedrock of decent law. In the story after next, Beleles Street, the very same Rabbi discovers that the cause of the plague which has been killing the children of the community is that two couples are wife-swapping. It is apparently OK for God, or Death, to make the whole community suffer for the sins of a few but it is not OK if the Emperor does it.
Double standards. Superstitious nonsense.
December 2011; 63 pages
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57