Delatyn, Galicia

The transliterations of Hebrew and Yiddish words and names are based on the spellings found in the on-line library catalogues of Brandeis University, Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Library of Congress.

R' Chayim Bloch
(26 June 1881 - 23 January 1973)

R' Chayim Bloch (full name R' Moshe Chayim Ephraim Bloch) was a member of a family of scholars and rabbis from Delatyn and neighboring Nadworna. He was a descendant of the early Chassidic author, Moshe Chayim Ephraim of Sudilkov, a grandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov. R' Bloch studied in Yeshiva, and until World War I was a wealthy businessman in Delatyn. When the Russians invaded he moved to Vienna with his wife and children. In 1915, he was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army, and served in the trenches for 9 months, until he succumbed to illness. On release from the hospital, he served as chaplain to the Jewish prisoners in a prisoner of war camp. R' Bloch continued to observe kashrut during his military service, despite the extreme difficulty. It was during this period that he wrote Der Golem and also a diary, published as Kriegstagebuch Eines Juden (War Diary of a Jew). In 1939 he moved to New York where he remained until his death.

Biographical information on R' Chayim Bloch can be found in the introduction to the English edition of The Golem and in the following:

•Rabinowicz, Tzvi M.
The Encyclopedia of Hasidism
Jason Aronson; Northvale, New Jersey: 1996
•Wunder, Rabbi Meir
Meorei Galicia : Encyclopedia of Galician Rabbis and Scholars
Jerusalem Institute for Commemoration of Galician Jewry; Jerusalem:1978 - 1997

View the Bloch family tree.


In 1909 Yudl Rosenberg published Nifla'ot Maharal im ha-Golem in which he introduced the Maharal's golem as the defender of a Jewish community confronted by a blood libel. A decade later, Chayim Bloch published The Golem. Mainly a retelling of Rosenberg's tale, Bloch brought his ability as a superb storyteller and introduced a new feature, the potentially violent nature of the golem. Rosenberg and Bloch laid the foundation for today's widespread dissemination of the story.

Discussions of Chayim Bloch's version of the golem story can be found in:

•Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Epicycles - Traditional stories from around the world
Parabola 20:1; Spring 1995
•Idel, Moshe
Golem : Jewish magical and mystical traditions of the artificial anthropoid.
SUNY Press. Albany, New York : 1990
"The Golem in Jewish Magic and Mysticism." in Golem! Danger, Deliverance and Art
Ed. Emily D. Bilski. New York: The Jewish Museum, 1988; 15-35
•Scholem, Gershom
On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism.
Translated by Ralph Manheim. Schocken Books. New York : 1965.
•Waxman, Meier
A History of Jewish Literature.
T. Yoseloff. New York: ca. 1960; volume 4, part 1, page 598
(originally published as A History of Jewish Literature From the Close of the Bible to Our Own Days, 1930.)

Books by R' Chayim Bloch:

1. Aus Mirjams Brunnen : chassidische Erzälungen und Legenden.
J. Melzer Verlag. Darmstadt : 1966.
(originally published as Priester der Liebe, see below).
Title: From Miriam's Well : Chassidic narratives and parables.
2. Blut und eros im jüdischen schrifftum und leben von Eisenmenger über Rohling zu Bischoff.
Sensen-verlag; Vienna : 1935
Title: Blood and eros in Jewish writings and life
Subject: Blood in Jewish religion and folklore
(see Ve-da' mah she-tashiv, below).
3. Dovev sifte yeshenim.
Tif''eret; New York: 1959
4. Even mi kir tizak
New York: 1953/4
5. Das geliebte Land: Sagen aus Palastina
R Löwit Verlag; Vienna: 1937
Title: The beloved land : Legends from Palestine
Subject: Jewish folk literature
6. Gemeinde der chassidim ihr werden und ihre lehre, ihr leben und ihr treiben
B. Harz; Berlin: 1920
Title: The Chassidic Community: Its genesis and teachings, its manners and customs
7. Hekhal le-divre Hazal u-pitgamehem.
Bet mishar sefarim Pardes u-bet defus Sha'ulzon. New York: 1948
8. Hersch Ostropoler, ein jüdischer Till-Eulenspiegel des 18. Jahrhunderts; Seine Geschichten und Streiche.
B. Harz; Berlin: 1921
Subject: Jewish wit and humor
9. Israel der Gotteskämpfer, der Baalscham von Chelm und sein Golem. ein ostjüdisches Legendenbuch.
B. Harz; Berlin: 1920
Title: Israel the G-d Struggler, the Baal Shem of Chelm and his Golem, an East European Jewish Legend Book
Subject: By the 16th century, golem-making was associated with 2 rabbis, Eliahu Baal Shem of Chelm (d. 1583) and Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the Maharal of Prague (d. 1609)
10. Das jüdischer Amerika; wahrnehmungen und betrachtungen
Verlag "Das Leben" Wien-Brigittenau: 1926
Title: Jewish America; perceptions and views
11. Das jüdischer Volk in seiner Anekdote; Ernstes und Heiteres von Gottsuchern, Gelehrten, Künstlern, Narren, Schelman, Aufschneidern, Schnorrern, Reichen, Frommen, Freidenkern, Täuflingen, Antisemiten
Verlag für Kulturpolitik; Berlin: 1931
12. El Pueblo Judio a Traves de la Anecdota : Historias serias y jocosas des devotos, ... y antisemites
Translated by Luis Blanco de Vincente; 1945. (Spanish)
Title: The Jewish People in Their Anecdotes: earnest and cheerful G-d-seekers, scholars, artists, fools, scolders, boasters. beggars, rich men, pious men, free thinkers, the baptized, antisemites
Subject: Jewish wit and humor
13. Kabbalistiche sagen
Im Verlag der Asia major; Leipzig: 1925
Title: Kabbalistic tales
Subject: Stories about R' Isaac Luria
14. Kovets mikhtavim mekoriyim meha-Besht zal ve-talmidav
Hotsa'ah 'Ivrit Menorah; Vienna: 1923
15. Kum nv et he harim teshuvah al pesak din me agudat ha rabanim
New York: 1948/9
16. Masa Federbush; tokhehat megulah leha-Rav Federbush
Bronx, NY: 1959
17. Me'ashrim to'im u-matim
Hadar; New York: 1952/3
Subject: halacha (Jewish law), responsa
18. Meharsham: ha-posek ha-aharon, ve-zeh shemo be-kirvo Moh. R. Shalom Mordekhai Hakohen Shvadron, "Berzaner Rav"
J. Majeski. Brooklyn, NY: 192?
19. Mevo ha-Talmud.
Makor; Jerusalem: 1970/1 (Reprint)
20. Mi natan li-meshisah Yaakov ve-Yisrael le-vozezim?
Bronx, NY: 1957
21. Ostjüdische Humor
B. Harz; Berlin : 1920
Title: East European Jewish Humor
22. Der Prager golem, von seiner "geburt" bis zu seinem "tod"
B. Harz; Berlin: 1920
23. The golem by Chayim Bloch, legends of the ghetto of Prague
Translated by Harry Schneiderman; Vienna: 1925
24. Le Golem: légendes du ghetto de Prague par Chayim Bloch
Translated by Francois Ritter. J.H.E. Heitz. Strasbourg: 1928; (French)
25. De Golem: legenden uit het ghetto van Praag
W.J. Thieme; Zutphen: 1930; (Dutch translation)
Subject: Jewish folk legend; Stories of the Maharal of Prague. By the 16th century, golem-making was associated with 2 rabbis, Eliahu Baal Shem of Chelm (d. 1583) and Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the Maharal of Prague (d. 1609)
26. Priester der Liebe, die Welt der Chassidim.
Amalthea-Verlag. Zürich : 1930. (reprinted as Aus Mirjams Brunnen, see above)
Title: Priests who love, the world of the Chassidim
27. ha-Sefer ha-shahor
New York : 195?. (Translation of the Yiddish book: A shvarts bukh)
Title: The Black Book
28. Talmudische weisheit: altjüdische Wechselgesprache.
Vienna: 1921
Title: Talmudic wisdom: ancient Jewish discussion of commerce
29. Ve-da' mah she-tashiv.
Reznik-Salis; New York: 1943
Subtitle: Appropriate replies to inquiries from the Vatican
Subject: Refutation of Erich Bischoff's charges contained in Das Blut in juedischen Schrifttum und Brauch (1929), a book which appeared to be influential in Vatican circles.
(see Blut und eros im jüdischen schrifftum und leben von Eisenmenger über Rohling zu Bischoff, above).
30. Ve-hayah mahanekha kadosh
New York: 1964/5

R' Jacob Yokel Horowitz

R' Jacob Yokel Horowitz served for a period of time as Rabbi of Delatyn, starting in 1861/2. See the Delatyn chronology. Details on R' Jacob Yokel Horowitz can be found in:

• Wunder, Rabbi Meir
Meorei Galicia: Encyclopedia of Galician Rabbis and Scholars
Jerusalem Institute for Commemoration of Galician Jewry; Jerusalem: 1978 - 1997
Encyclopedia Judaica
Article on his father, R' Meshullam Issachar ben Aryeh Leib ha-Levi Horowitz

Books by R' Jacob Yokel Horowitz:

1. Avne ha-Shoham: kelulim bi-khelilat ha-pilpul veha-halalhah
Bi-defus Y. Eharenfraiz. Lvov: 1880
Sefer 1: Sefer ha-nafshot
Subject: Talmud commentary. Halacha (Jewish law)
2. Shirat Dodim
Subject: Commentary on the Song of Songs with a Chassidic approach