Oh, Rabbi Löew, be careful what you wish for, and Victor Frankenstein, beware. And you, Herr Doktor Faust, don’t count on a second Rettung.
Storytellers and artists foresee, but the world plays things out. Einstein nailed it: "Three great forces rule the world," he said, "stupidity, fear and greed."
Fritz Ascher captured those forces in 1916. His foreground translates Einstein’s trio into the hands and faces of:
—and desperately grasping Greed.
And, rising above them, looming over the toxic miasma, their collective golem.
"Thou shalt not pass!" say its arms, "I will kill!" say its eyes, and "darkest night" says its cloak. "No moon or stars for you. Nur die Nacht."
Behind this apocalyptic gang of four stands their salient element: a wall, a fortress—or shall we call it a Trennungszaun?—perhaps the most iconically prescient part of Ascher’s vision. And stupidity, fear and greed have different faces now, smoother, white-haired, silver-tongued. But Ascher’s wall still evokes … the wall.
Benjamin Netanyahu: "Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers? The answer is yes. In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the wild beasts."
Hear O Israel: hear this latest misguided, misguiding, misstepping "rabbi" protecting his community unto its death.
Will Judaism survive its current golem?
Marc Estrin is a novelist, cellist and political activist who lives in the US. His novel Golem Song was published in 2006 and tells the story of Alan Krieger who manages it to make a Golem out of his very self.
Marc Estrin (2016), Be Careful What You Wish For. Article in the Exhibition Catalogue GOLEM.
Online Edition of the GOLEM Catalog: Table of Contents
- The Golem in Berlin – introduction by Peter Schäfer
- Chapter 1
- The Golem Lives On – introduction by Martina Lüdicke
- My Light is Your Life – by Anna Dorothea Ludewig
- Avatars – by Louisa Hall
- The Secret of the Cyborgs – by Caspar Battegay
- Chapter 2
- Jewish Mysticism – introduction by Emily D. Bilski
- Golem Magic – by Martina Lüdicke
- Golem, Language, Dada – by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 3
- Transformation – introduction by Emily D. Bilski
- Jana Sterbak’s Golem: Objects as Sensations – by Rita Kersting
- Crisálidas (Chrysalises) – by Jorge Gil
- Rituals – by Christopher Lyon
- A Golem that Ended Well – by Emily D. Bilski
- On the Golem – by David Musgrave
- Louise Fishman’s Paint Golem – by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 4
- Legendary Prague – introduction by Martina Lüdicke
- Golem Variations – by Peter Schäfer
- Rabbi Loew’s Well-Deserved Bath – by Harold Gabriel Weisz Carrington
- Chapter 5
- Horror and Magic – introduction by Martina Lüdicke
- Golem and a Little Girl – by Helene Wecker
- The Golem with a Group of Children Dancing – by Karin Harrasser
- Bringing the Film Set To Life – by Anna-Carolin Augustin
- Golem and Mirjam – by Cathy S. Gelbin
- Chapter 6
- Out of Control – introduction by Emily D. Bilski
- Golem—Man Awakened with Glowing Hammer – by Arno Pařík
- Dangerous Symbols – by Charlotta Kotik
- Current page: Be Careful What You Wish For – by Marc Estrin
- Chapter 7
- Doppelgänger – introduction by Martina Lüdicke
- From the Golem-Talmud – by Joshua Cohen
- Kitaj’s Art Golem – by Tracy Bartley
- The Golem as Techno-Imagination? – by Cosima Wagner
- See also
- GOLEM – 2016, online edition with selected texts of the exhibition catalog
- GOLEM – 2016, complete printed edition of the exhibition catalog, in German
- Golem. From Mysticism to Minecraft – Online Feature, 2016
- GOLEM – exhibition, 23 Sep 2016 to 29 Jan 2017