Skip to main content

Rabbi Loew’s Well-Deserved Bath

Article in the Exhibition Catalogue GOLEM

Harold Gabriel Weisz Carrington

Rabbi Loew´s heavy breathing came from the cellar. He was sweating profusely. Covered with shadows, his creation glowed like a million fireflies.
The penetrating eyes of the Golem convinced the Rabbi that his sacred effigy was endowed with intelligence.

Rabbi Loew´s head was full of fleeting Sephiroth. After rubbing his forehead, he decided to soak hands and limbs in his tub, after days upon nights of uninterrupted toil. His finished work, the Golem, was resting his enormous head between his hands. A growling sound came out of his half open lips. His chest heaved under his skin like a living volcano. The cat, which was resting nearby, hissed and was gone in an instant.
Rabbi Loew watched his hands. Luminous clay that he had used to rub over the Golem´s head to give the finishing touches was slow to dissolve in the warm water of his bath. He smiled with satisfaction.
The density of matter conjured to end all violence.

Leonora Carrington was a dedicated reader. Gershon Scholem’s Major Trends of Jewish Mysticism occupied an important place in her library. She had a close friend who was a specialist in Kabbalah and other mystical subjects. Each afternoon, they would sit with a cup of coffee, and discuss such figures as the Golem and the Dybbuk. Some of her drawings were inspired by both the Kabbalah and Hassidic stories.

Greenish-black figure made of bronze: a person with a hat in a small bathtub.

El bañista (Rabbi Loew)
Leonora Carrington, Mexico, 2010
Bronze, 36 x 70 x 30 cm

Citation recommendation:

Harold Gabriel Weisz Carrington (2016), Rabbi Loew’s Well-Deserved Bath. Article in the Exhibition Catalogue GOLEM.

Golem als Actionfigur (Ausschnitt)

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
Current page: 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
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

Share, Newsletter, Feedback