The Maharal

The Maharal of Prague is known to vast numbers of Jews today, centuries after his death. To Talmudic scholars he is the author of profound glosses and commentaries. To those interested in Jewish philosophy and ethics his writings are timeless classics. And to the "man in the street" the stories of his Golem are unforgettable.


The Maharal encompassed and mastered the entire Torah literature and familiarized himself with the culture and way of thinking of the Jew of his day. In his voluminous writings, he synthesized this knowledge and expressed the truths of Torah in a form that would be most relevant to his generation. His success was so compete that his writings to this day have been an inspiration for many Jews, among them leaders who have based their own manner of framing their Torah insights on the teachings of the Maharal. The Maharal's influence is also seen in the teachings of Chassidism. Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Chasidism and a direct descendant of the Maharal, bases much of his famous work - the Tanya - on the teachings of his great grandfather.

The Maharal was very active in community work. He did much to improve social ethics. He was a far-seeing educator whose many ideas for educational reform struck deep chords in many people.
A fascinating figure who overcame community dissension to lead forcefully; a Jew who received the singular honor with the Emperor of Bohemia; a man whose Torah is an expression of the best in human character and the most illuminating in holy inspiration; a man of his time and above his time - this was the Maharal.

His resting place in the Old Jewish Cemetery is still visited today by thousands of people.