Rabi Löw – rabbi who constructed the Prague Golem

Rabi Löw

Jehuda ben Becalel, more likely known as Rabi Löw or by his Hebrew acronym MaHaRaL belongs to very important representatives of Prague Judaism. Not only did he become a very significant rabbi but according to a legend also the constructor of the legendary Prague Golem. Let´s discover more about him now.

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Birth and studies Rabi Löw - Sculpture by Ladislav Šaloun
Rabi Löw was most probably born in German Worms. However, historical sources declare that his birthplace was Poland. Rabbi was born into a very important rabbinic family. According to the extant sources the family had ancestors from Prague. He grew up together with his three brothers whose names were Chajim, Sinaj and Samson. However the historical records are not consistent where Rabbi Löw had studied. Based on certain sources he studied in Poland and Germany, but according to some other records he self-studied with help of books. At any rate he was very talented and education played a very crucial role in his life.

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Rabi Löw´s activities
In 1553 the twenty-eight years old Rabi Löw became the chief Moravian provincial rabbi in Mikulov where he was working for long twenty years. Then in 1573 he left Moravia for the city of Prague which he declared his new place of work. Beside Rabbi Löw´s theological activities we also need to mention his pedagogic activities. By all accounts he was sort of a Jewish national teacher. In Prague he held an office of rector in the so-called Klausum which was a private rabbinic academy. He also modified the rules followed by the burial society. He was active here until 1584 when he left to Poland. However, he returned to the capital after a four year break.

Rabi Löw and Golem He met the Emperor Rudolph II. in Prague in 1592. They both were interested in the science, arts, astrology and alchemy, therefore their meetings were more frequent. After finishing his activities in Prague he left to Poland again and he became the chief rabbi in Poznan. Shortly afterwards rabbi Löw came back to Prague to hold the office of the chief rabbi. Finally, he stayed in Prague until his death in 1609. Rabbi Löw was buried in the old Jewish Cemetery in Prague. His grave is still being visited by people who believe that rabbi will help make their dreams come true. So during your walk in the old Jewish Cemetery you can notice the tiny papers fixed by little stones.

Rabbi Löw had written seventeen books during his life, all of them were published in printed form. As mentioned above, rabbi Löw was very interested in astrology and astronomy. Due to his interest he met the genius of that period Tycho de Brahe and other remarkable personalities.

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GENERAL INFORMATION ON JUDAISM:

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Life in the name of the Torah 
Jewish traditions and customs

Meaning of „Kosher“
Synagogue
Jewish prayer 
Mordechai Maisel

Rabi Löw
Franz Kafka 
Noted Jewish Personalities
 
Legend of Prague´s Golem

History of the Jewish inhabitants in the Czech lands
Sanitation of the Jewish ghetto

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Map of the Old Jewish Town- Josefov  in Prague:

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Pinkasova synagoga: 50.089283, 14.417005
Starý židovský hřbitov: 50.088983, 14.417166
Maiselova synagoga: 50.088781, 14.418677
Obřadní síň - budova pražského Pohřebního bratrstva: 50.090037, 14.417031
Staronová synagoga: 50.089926, 14.418488
Klausová synagoga: 50.090350, 14.421120
Vysoká synagoga a židovská radnice: 50.089971, 14.418582
Španělská synagoga: 50.090209, 14.421019
Jewish Museum in Prague (Židovské muzeum): 50.090649, 14.420930

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MAIN MONUMENTS OF THE PRAGUE OLD JEWISH TOWN:

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Prague Jewish Town – Josefov (Pražské židovské město)
Maisel Synagogue (Maiselova synagoga)
Pinkas Synagogue (Pinkasova synagoga)
Old Jewish Cemetery (Starý Židovský Hřbitov)
Klausen Synagogue (Klausová synagoga)
Jewish Ceremonial Hall – building of Prague Burial Society
Old New Synagogue (Staronová Synagoga)
Jewish Town Hall (Židovská radnice)
High Synagogue (Vysoká synagoga) 
Spanish Synagogue (Španělská synagoga)
Jewish Museum (Židovské muzeum)

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Map of the other Jewish Monuments in Prague:

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Židovské památky mimo cetrum: 50.087371, 14.420820

Jubilee Synagogue in Jerusalem Street (Jubilejní synagoga v Jerusalémské ulici)
The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague´s Žižkov(Starý židovský hřbitov na Žižkově)
New Jewish Cemetery (Nový židovský hřbitov)
Smíchov Synagogue (Smíchovská synagoga)
Old Jewish Cemetery in Smíchov
(Starý židovský hřbitov na Smíchově)

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DOWNLOAD: Tourist guide PRAGUE PRAGUE CITY LINE 1

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Průvodce Praha 1 - ENG - úvodní stránka

  Tourist guide PRAGUE CITY LINE - Prague 1 (unknown)

Prague 1 still belongs to one of the most attractive parts of the whole Prague. Probably nowhere else you can find such a concentration of historic monuments and places where the history and romance of bygone times are all around you. Hardly anywhere you can walk on the same paths where were walking Franz Kafka, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the Golem of Prague.

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PHOTO GALLERY :

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