Front cover of a 1996 English-language edition of The Golem.

The Golem is a novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer, based on the legend of the Golem of Prague. It originally appeared in Yiddish in The Jewish Daily Forward in 1969. The author produced his own English translation of the novel which was first published in 1982. The Golem is intended to be a children's story but it does not shy away from depicting the persecution of Jews in 17th century Europe.


In the city of Prague, a gambler named Bratislavski asks the Jewish banker, Eliezer for a loan to repay his many debts. When Eliezer refuses, Bratislavski accuses him of kidnapping his daughter and using her Christian blood in Passover rituals.

To defend Eliezer, Rabbi Liew creates a golem and brings it to life by writing on its forehead some letters from the Aleph-bet which form one of the seventy-two names of G-d. The rabbi orders the golem to discovewr the truth, which it does. Eliezer is freed and Bratislavski is condemned to death by hanging.

However, when the golem is ordered to do a task for which it was not created, it develops its own free will and refuses to do the rabbi's bidding.

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