after Danez Smith
I want a claymation stop motion grainy screened Hanukkah special called The Golem in the Old Country. Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins meets the abominable snowman from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer except redemption is harder to come by. There’s a scene where Herschel of Ostropol creates a golem to protect the menorah as he travels on foot. (There are NO TRAINS in this story, absolutely no trains.) Herschel is sorting out his bad dreams, battling phantom goblins from over each mountainside, pale bodies crawling out of ditches. Will the jar of pickles keep working? He keeps a stone in his pocket instead of a hardboiled egg.
Don’t let Spielberg direct this. In his version, Herschel is a small boy befriended by the golem, slowly humanizing him, the truth glowing supernaturally in Hebrew letters on its forehead. The boy wants a father, a mother, or both. No. Herschel will not be played by Al Pacino. He will not break the fourth wall. His suffering is real. I want scenes where the golem protects the menorah and slowly loses parts of himself. I want a scene that shows Jewish people happy, not just dancing in a cut scene or playing music but simply eating a good meal, or out of pride for their child sleeping soundly. I want this to be happiness not joy. There is no relief in this movie.
Don’t let this be a vehicle for Daniel Craig with a JJ Abrams lens flare. Don’t let non-Jewish people march in goose-step while Meryl Streep mutters complaints dressed up as a rabbi. I want Mel Brooks to have a cameo as a zayde. Let him do whatever he wants. I want the villagers to find Herschel davening in the cold. But don’t let this be a Coen brothers moment, this moment is serious and the prayer is accurate and given without exposition. I want the villagers to bring him home and a bubbe to wrap him in one of her shawls before making him soup, muttering Yiddish as the children continue to look up to this wandering shlemiel as a genuine hero. Then Herschel sees his golem and the golem is a mirror of him. They embrace and the golem melts away into claymation snowdrifts. Herschel of Ostropol smirks and lights the shamash candle as the goblins recoil.