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was there really a golem made in Prague that was alive and interacted with other people?

I heard that this story was nothing more than a made up tale in a children's book. Does anyone know the real history behind it? What evidence do we have backing it up? Is it brought down in any written authoritative source?

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The Golem from the Prague I believe has no clear source to back it up.however there is an idea of a golem. In the Talmud Sanhedrin 65b Rava makes a man and sends it to Rav Zeira.Rav Zeira proceeds to talk to it but it does not respond so Rav Zeira realized a Chacham made it and he destroyed it(seems evident a golem can't speak).There is another account brought down by Rav Tzvi Askenazi (Chacham Tzvi) shelot and tshuvot 93 with a golem . –  sam May 9 '12 at 23:45
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In Search of EMeTh, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for this question! Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. –  Isaac Moses May 10 '12 at 0:34
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thank you @IsaacMoses! good to be here –  In Search of EMeTh May 10 '12 at 0:35
    
Rav Hutner said I dont Understand the big Deal I Made plenty of golems look at some of the talmidim who came out of my yeshiva –  simchastorah May 10 '12 at 3:13
    
@sam the question seems to be specifically about the one by the Maharal –  Shmuel Brin Dec 13 '13 at 0:20
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The main original source talking about the Golem was the Niflaos Maharal published in 1909. It claims to have been written by the son-in-law of the Maharal (R' Yitzchok Katz) and was kept in the library in Metz, until (after being in the hands of some middle-men) it was discovered by R' Yudel Rosenberg of Warsaw. R' Rosenberg claims that the Noda Biyehuda went to the attic where the Golem lies (although he asked ten of his students to say Tehillim for him at the time, because of the danger).

However, (R') Shlomo Rappoport says that the Maharal never created a Golem, and the stories are forgeries.

R' Shwartz also mentioned a proof to the fact that the Maharal did not create a Golem, in that no Rabbinic historian of his time mentioned the Golem. Neither the Chida nor the Tzemach Dovid (who was a student of the Maharal and wrote a sefer on Jewish history) wrote that the Maharal made a Golem.

However, R' Shwartz points outs that the ֲBnei Yissochor wrote that the Maharal used to use Sefer Yetzira (the Kabbalistic work discussing the creation of Golems) and the Imrei Yosef (the Rebbe from Spinka) quotes the Niflaos Maharal (obviously being of the opinion that it's a legitimate sefer).

Moreover, he writes that it in Megilas Yuchsin (written and published in 1864, some forty years before Niflaos Maharal) that the Shoel Umeishiv (who was alive when this sefer was published) went to Prague and wanted to go to where the Golem lies. The Gabbai told him that before the Noda BeYehuda went up there, he fasted and went went to Mikva, then he wrapped himself in a Tallis and Tefillin and went up. When he came down, he said that no one else should go up there.

So R' Shwartz answers that it's possible that the Maharal created this golem for a short period of time and then destroyed it. However, people made up rumors about it.

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"ten of his students to say Tehillim for him." - do you mean for the Golem? –  yydl May 10 '12 at 0:17
    
@yydl no, the Noda BiYehuda. –  Shmuel Brin May 10 '12 at 0:20
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In addition to the golem story, R' Yehuda Yudel Rosenberg was responsible for a number of Maharal related forgeries, including another story about the Maharal and the Choshen Mishpat (based upon a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle titled, "The Jew's Breastplate") and the notorious Maharal haggada. It is unfortunate that he engaged in forgery (especially the latter, the first two could have been misunderstood attempts at historical fiction), as R' Rosenberg was clearly a very knowledgeable man with a great deal to offer. (His Zohar Torah remains popular to this day.) –  LazerA May 11 '12 at 13:57
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Lubavitcher Rebbe writes the his father-in-law (Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe) told him that when he went up into the attic he saw the remnants of the Golem: rabbiyehudahyudelrosenberg.com/pdf/primary3.pdf –  Menachem Dec 12 '13 at 23:00
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