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Prague, Czech Republic - Exhibition on Maharal of Prague Opens Tomorrow

Published on: August 4, 2009 06:09 PM
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Exhibition on Maharal of PragueExhibition on Maharal of Prague

Prague, Czech Republic - An exhibition devoted to the life and legacy of scholar and philosopher rabbi Loew (The Maharal of Prague), according to legends a creator of supernatural monster Golem from the early 17th century, opens at Prague Castle on Wednesday to mark the 400th anniversary of Loew’s death.

The exhibition, staged by the Prague Castle Authority along with the Jewish Museum in Prague, is opened in the Imperial Stable (Cisarska konirna) from August 5 to November 8.

“Although golem is a concept of Jewish mysticism, it is evidently only loosely associated with rabbi Loew. No hints is contained in his work that he would ever attempt such mystical spiritual exercise as the creation of a golem,” Jewish Museum director Leo Pavlat said.

He said there was a reference to the notion of “golem” in Loew’s work, but it had another meaning, namely an unwise man.


“Both the real and mysterious rabbi Loew has a right to existence, but the discrepancy between the historical image of the personality and its prevailing perception is abysmal,” exhibition curator Alexandr Putik said.

The exhibition called A Road to Life is divided into two parts. The first is devoted to real rabbi Loew and authentic traditions associated with him, the second with his legacy and popular legends to which his name refers.

It also describes the development of the Prague ghetto and the Jewish cemetery at the period.

It will be possible to see Loew’s writings, official books and a table bell of Emperor Rudolph II, allegedly manufactured from the alloy of seven metals following instructions from the Kabbalah.

Most of the 200 items on display are from the Jewish Museum in Prague.

The exhibition also uses a screen showing extracts from various films on golem.

Judah Loew ben Bezalel (1520-1609) also known as rabbi Loew or Maharal worked as the Moravian land rabbi for twenty years and from 1596 as chief rabbi in Prague.
He was a learned man, philosopher and teacher.

“There are some studies proving that some principles advocated by Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius) have their predecessors in rabbi Loew, although there was no direct connection,” Pavlat said.

Pavlat said only romantic writers from the mid-19th century connected rabbi Loew with golem.
The story of rabbi making wonders and creating an artificial man first appeared in German literature, Pavlat said.

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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »


 Aug 04, 2009 at 05:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Sounds absolutely fascinating! My sons are visiting Slovakia in a few weeks, I must suggest this to them. It's just a (long) train ride away.


 Aug 04, 2009 at 10:18 PM Anonymous Says:

To #1. Not to put a damper on your sons' trip, but I would think that if you want to get a first hand education about the holy Maharal, don't waste time traveling to Prague, rather learn his sefarim!


 Aug 04, 2009 at 11:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

To #1. Not to put a damper on your sons' trip, but I would think that if you want to get a first hand education about the holy Maharal, don't waste time traveling to Prague, rather learn his sefarim!

Oh, get a life! You don't think to visit holy sites, kevarim, & other sites of Jewish life is educational? Or do your kids get all their "education" in a bungalow colony?

Why must EVERYTHING have some loser casting negatives? Some people (you included) have to diminish everything & put your fahkrimpte attitude on anything that is enjoyable, even if it's Kosher. I suppose while they're in Slovakia they shouldn't go to the Kevarim of the Chasam Sofer & the Nitra Rav, in case they get some kind of spiritual uplift?


 Aug 05, 2009 at 09:29 AM reply #3 Says:

Very well said. I've been to prague and slovakia and it was amazing. And to #1 comment, don't be frumer than the rabbi and it is a tremendous thing to go to their kvarim and is on the same level of learning his seforim-which most people can not do due to its complexity


 Aug 05, 2009 at 11:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Was just there...it was amazing


 Aug 05, 2009 at 10:25 PM Anonymous Says:

A goyish museum is not a kever


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