Rabbi Loew & His Descendants

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Yehudah Loew, the Maharal of Prague (1512-1609)


Moreinu Harav Loew was born on the night of Pesach, 1512, to a distinguished family of rabbis who traced their ancestry to King David. The youngest of four brothers, he married Pearl when he was 32. That union led to six girls and one boy named Bezalel, which was also the name of his grandfather (Guess the name of the grandfather’s American descendant).

In 1552 he was elected the rabbi of Nikolsburg in Moravia, where he remained for 20 years until he moved to Prague in 1573, where he opened a “Yeshivah”, or Jewish school of theology. Among his students were the famous Rabbi Lipman Heller, whose commentary on the Mishnah, Tosefot Yomtof is a masterpiece of erudition.

After a six year absence from Prague, during which he served as rabbi of Posen, the Maharal returned to Prague as chief rabbi (a position unknown in this country). A prolific (from proles, the Latin for children) writer, he published Tiferet Yisrael, a commentary on the Torah, and Netivot Olam, a book on ethics. He also wrote Be’er Hagolah, a commentary on rabbinic proverbs, and Netzach Ysrael, which deals with redemption. Further, he wrote Or Chadash, concerning the Book of Esther, Ner Mitzvah on Chanukah, and a number of additional books dealing with religious and other topics.

All these books may seem antiquated to us, not only because they are indeed over four hundred years old, but also because they are written in Hebrew, which most of us don’t understand. Yet, we cannot overlook that among those who do understand the work of the Maharal they rank as high as that of his contemporary in a quite different arena, William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

The Maharal was an advanced leader in education. He insisted that children should be taught according to their intellectual maturity and not only their chronological age. When this idea was proposed much later by the great American philosopher John Dewey it became the cornerstone of “progressive” education.

Because of his immense learning and courageous defense of the Jewish people against the usual enemies, many legends arose concerning the Maharal. Rabbi Loew was said to have created a GOLEM. A GOLEM is a monster created by humans. The Czech word for GOLEM is Roboto, from which we derive the word robot. The best known GOLEM story in English is the story of Dr. Frankenstein, written by Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (daughter of the novelist Mary Wollstonecraft), when she and her husband Percy Shelley visited Switzerland in the company of Lord Byron in 1816.

The legends concerning the GOLEM of Prague are many. The story was even made into a German movie in 1920.

Rabbi Yehuda Loew’s father, Bezalel Loeb, had four sons. One of his sons was Sinai Loew. He in turn had a descendant, Josefina Loew, who became the grandmother of Ida Loew. She married Fritz Kohn, a native of Moravia. The Kohns immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in 1905. Before coming to the United States they changed their name to Kerry and converted to Catholicism. Their son, Richard Kerry, then became the father of Senator John Kerry, the current Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

Like so many other non-Jewish descendants of Jews, Kerry tried for years to hide his Jewish ancestry, claiming to be of Irish descent. He even said on the floor of the U.S. Senate, “those of us, fortunate to be of Irish ancestry”, etc.

Seeking to “lean over backwards”, Kerry is a vehement critic of Israel. Calling the terrorist Yassir Arafat a “statesman”, Kerry spoke to the Arab-American Institute and denounced the wall the Israelis are forced to build to keep the Arab murderers from attacking them with homicide bombs. Kerry is also a great friend and protégé of Jimmy Carter, former President of the U.S., who said in a speech in Switzerland that if he had been re-elected President a second time he would have instituted “the final solution” to the Israel problem. Of course we all know what the phrase “final solution” means. Well, Kerry has proposed sending Carter to Israel as our ambassador. With such “friends”, who needs enemies?

Kerry and the Democratic establishment are no friends of the Jewish people. Indeed they may pose as such during an election year. Yet, should they be elected, Israel will be in serious trouble as will the American Jewish community. Remember that only 30% of Democrats favor the survival of Israel. Keep that in mind in November.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Man's Ascent to Reason (2003) & the forthcoming Football & American Identity.

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