The Golem

  • Carriage House Arts Center 390 Grumman Avenue Norwalk, CT, 06851 United States

“The Golem,” by H. Leivick, adapted by David Fishelson, from a translation by Joseph C. Landis, directed by Joel Fenster is based on Leivick's 1921 "dramatic poem in eight scenes." It is a reworking of a legend of Judah Loew ben Bezalel, known as the Maharal, a great rabbi of Prague. In the legend, he animates a golem, a being crafted from inanimate material. There is an admixture of material of Christian origin and probably influence from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Leivick's version includes several messiah figures including "The Man With the Cross", and is strongly focused on the plight of the golem, animated against his will and wrestling with his particular form of the human condition, and, secondarily, of the rabbi, a "creator whose creation does not respond in accordance with his plan.” Drenched in the magic and mystery of the Kabbala, THE GOLEM retells the legend of a sixteenth-century Rabbi in Prague who defies God when he molds and animates a huge clay figure to defend the Jewish community from attack. Written in Yiddish in 1921 by Russian expatriate H. Leivick, THE GOLEM was astonishingly prophetic of the events of the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel. In the wake of September 11th, the play carries with it even more powerful echoes of the dilemmas faced by our civilization today, especially the notion of whether we're forced to resort to violence to survive.