Monday, February 20, 2012

“Beginning” of the Week #2

For this week’s “beginning” I’ve chosen the opening passage from Frances Sherwood’s The Book of Splendor, a novel set in 1601 about the legendary Golem of Prague. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who hasn’t read it!
Creating a Golem requires patience, brilliance, study, prayer, and fasting. The creator must be worthy in character, close to God, free of sin. Traditionally only rabbis can make such a being, and not any rabbi, but a tzaddik, one of the righteous. Understandably, it is an undertaking filled with presumption and fraught with the possibility of error. Insight into the magical possibilities of the Hebrew alphabet is imperative, as is the ability to use the exalted language of God’s various names. 
– Frances Sherwood, The Book of Splendor 
This is one of my favorite novels!


3 comments:

helenr said...

It has been some time since I read this book. As a philosophy minor (almost major), I really appreciated the perfect mix of philosophy, theology and mythology. Add to the mix a love affair somewhat reminscent of The Girl With The Pearl Earring and its a wonderful epic love story. great read!

helenr said...

Should read Girl With A Pearl Earring.

Joseph Finley said...

helenr - Thanks for the comments! Your description of The Book of Splendor is spot on in my view!