The very name of the Maharal of Prague inspires deep reverence, yet unfortunately, one of the first associations that comes to mind is the unsubstantiated legend of the golem, the clay body that the Maharal reputedly formed into a living being by Kabbalistic means. Whether or not there is any credence to that story, the fame and impact of the Maharal on his own generation and on all future generations surely rests on a more solid foundation. The Maharal of Prague was a towering giant in Torah and Kabbalah and a fearless leader of European Jewry during the sixteenth century. His seminal works have served as guideposts on the highways of Jewish thought for hundreds of years. In communal affairs, the Maharal guided the affairs of some of the most prominent Jewish communities in Central Europe, sometimes in an official rabbinic capacity, sometimes as a private citizen. His company and advice were sought by kings and noblemen, giving rise to many colorful legends, some of which appear in the pages of this book. "The Maharal of Prague: The Story of Rabbi Yehudah Loew" is a compelling portrait of this great spiritual figure whose immortal works dominate Jewish thought to this very day. Most of the material is derived from reliable sources, and the few unsubstantiated legends included are clearly defined as such for the benefit of the reader. Vivid images of the Jewish communities and life styles of sixteenth century Europe emerge from Yaakov Dovid Shulman's lively and descriptive prose, providing a fascinating setting for the life and works of the legendary Maharal of Prague.
by Yaakov Dovid Shulman
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