Mort Laitner

In search of Golem

I’m in Prague.

I’m on a mission.

A religious, scientific and historic quest to find the remains of the Golem and to bring those remains to Jerusalem.

I’m employed by The Golem Institute of Advanced AI Research.

So you may ask the four questions. (Why is it always four questions):

What’s a Golem?

Why am I in Prague?

Why, assuming I find any, am I bringing the Golem’s dust to Israel?

What is the Golem Institute?

RESEARCH: A Golem is a clay statue brought to life by a rabbi or a mystic. (In the old days, rabbis were much more powerful,)

Back then, there were three reasons to create a Golem:

Number One—Medieval Jewish mystics produced Golems to get closer to G-d. (Please don’t ask me their rationale. They’re mystics);

Number Two—Rabbis brought Golems into existence to clean houses. (Sounds pretty chauvinistic to me. But they did come up with the concept for iRobot Roombas);

Number Three—Since the Golem is a ten foot, 500 pound monster, he’d protect the Jewish ghetto residents from pogroms.

In the 16th Century, Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalell, (You can visit his gravestone in Prague’s Old Jewish Cemetery) choose reason number three. So when he jolted his creation to life by inserting in its mouth a piece of parchment, with the word “Shem” written on it. The Golem opened his eyes. The rabbi said, “I am you creator, Rabbi Loew, your name is Josille.”(I wonder why that name hasn’t caught on.) Don’t you dear run amok on me. You shall obey my orders!”

“You Loew. me Josille. I obey orders, no run amok,” the monster replied.

As Josille grew in strength, the rabbi from time to time removed the parchment to weaken him. One day the rabbi forgot to remove the shem. Josille went on a rampage of destruction throughout Prague. When the rabbi finally caught up with him, he ordered, “Josille take a break from all this mishegas! Go to the attic of the Old-New Synagogue. Go now!

Josille obeyed and was never seen or heard from again.

Since Josille’s story was put in print, rabbis around the world warn their young adult congregants, “Be careful what you create sometimes they turn into monsters.”

THE SIMPLIFIED PLAN: Go to the attic of the Old-New Synagogue. Look for dried clay, or dust or leather belts or straps with rusted iron bolts. These are the elementary items that Rabbi Loew’s  used to create and hold together Josille. Sweep up and gather the leather, the iron and the orange-red powder. Fill up knapsack with items. Head to the airport and catch a flight to Ben Gurion. For those interested in the confidential, top secret detailed plan go to Golem Institute’s website at (Ironically, you can still purchase this domain name from GoDaddy.)

MY ACTIVITIES IN PRAGUE: I strolled down the narrow streets of Prague’s old Jewish quarter. I observed that a cottage industry of tchotchkes and hazarai has grown out of the Golem’s dust.

In every storefront, Golem replicas abounded: clay statues, cookies, paintings, key chains, USB drives and refrigerator magnets.

I reached the Old-New Synagogue.

But before I continue, let me digress and tell you about the history of the Institute’s plan.

In 2019, I attended a meeting at IDF headquarters. Where I heard the chief rabbi of Israel proclaim,”Since the Israeli Army has  now created thousands of robot soldiers—Twenty-First Century Golems— I order that they be anointed with Golem dust before they go into battle. I hope and pray that the Golem dust will protect and prevent these robots from running amok. I demand you assign an agent to fulfill my request ASAP.”

Sorry for the digression but you needed the background,

I’m back at the entrance of the Old-New Synagogue. I am intercepted by a Mossad agent and handed written instructions which read:

“You are ordered to stop writing the Golem story on your laptop.”

Signed the Chief

Note to readers: Sorry I was not allowed to finish this story but If you have a favorite Golem or Prague story I’d love to hear it.

Please type in comments box.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed online. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience. Mort is in his third year as president of the South Florida Writers Association. He was a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.