Page Number: 185
The Problem Of Rabbi Loew
October 18th, 2006
PAGE FOOTNOTES: The Golem is a story that has long fascinated me, and as is widely understood, it likely did Mary Shelly, the author of Frankenstein. But I do not invoke it here with any intent to reference Shelly, rather I invoke a less well known side to the original tale, in which, towards the end of its time, the Golem could speak, and increasingly showed signs of awareness, heart, and appriciation for life. In these versions of the story, the Golem has a wish to stay alive, and while still obedient to the Rabbi who constructed him, makes a plea for his artificial life. This makes erasing the letters and removing the tablet that keep him animated tragic and questionable...and bring into consideration the very definition of life itself.
I have always felt for the Golem, and when I have thought of the tale, imagined that a kind Rabbi would have let the creature go out into the world, or perhaps have travelled with him, as father and son.
To me a life is a life, and we are all Golems, meat golems, meat machines every one of us. If true artificial intelligence ever does come into the world, in my mind and heart, it would be exactly as alive and valid as any other person in the world.
Have you ever stared at your own hand, or your own face (as Heliotrope does in today's comic) and fully recognized that you inhabit a doll made of of chemical matter, fully felt the reality of being a golem? Poor little chemical machines all off us, all of us everywhere on the earth.
By Jennifer Diane Reitz
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