By Yehuda Lahav, Haaretz
The Czech post has issued a new stamp to mark 400 years since the death of Rabbi Yehuda Loew ben Bezalel, also known as the Maharal of Prague, who according to legend created a man out of clay.
The Maharal was an important rabbi in Prague in the 16th and early 17th centuries. He best known for the legend of the “Golem,” in which he is said to have created from clay a living being that had superhuman powers and that was used to defend the Jews of the Prague Ghetto.
Still today, many believe that the body of the Golem is trapped in the attic of Prague’s “Alt Noi Shul” synagogue.
The Maharal served as an admired teacher during a difficult time for Jews shortly after Spanish Inquisition, the Protestant reformation movement and other major social changes.
He is buried in the Jewish cemetery in the Prague old city, and his grave serves as a place of pilgrimage to many Jews every year.
Neighboring Slovakia has also recently paid respect to its Jewish past, having issued a stamp to commemorate Chatam Sofer, a leading rabbi in the capital Bratislava in the first half of the century.