The first English translation, from the original Hebrew, of the golem stories by Yudl Rosenberg, who gives Golem a name (Yossele), expands his humanity, and changes forever the dynamic of the legend
This collection of interrelated stories about a sixteenth-century Prague rabbi and the golem he created became an immediate bestseller upon its publication in 1909. So widely popular and influential was Yudl Rosenberg’s book, it is no exaggeration to claim that the author transformed the centuries-old understanding of the creature of clay and single-handedly created the myth of the golem as protector of the Jewish people during times of persecution. In addition to translating Rosenberg’s classic golem story into English for the first time, Curt Leviant also offers an introduction in which he sets Rosenberg’s writing in historical context and discusses the golem legend before and after Rosenberg’s contributions. Generous annotations are provided for the curious reader. The book is full of adventures, surprises, romance, suspense, mysticism, Jewish pride, and storytelling at its best. The Chief Rabbi of Prague, known as the Maharal, brings the golem Yossele to life to help the Jews fight false accusations of ritual murder—the infamous blood libel. More human, more capable, and more reliable as a protector than any golem imagined before, Rosenberg’s Golem irrevocably changed one of the most widely influential icons of Jewish folklore.
Curt Leviant is the prizewinning author or translator of more than two dozen books, including six critically acclaimed novels. His translations from the Yiddish include Isaac Bashevis Singer’s More Stories from My Father’s Court and five volumes of Sholom Aleichem collections. He has won the Wallant Award for his fiction and several national and international writing fellowships.
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