April 2011 - Joined GENI - Please Join our "Geni Family Group" - and Help Us Migrate Your Relatives :)
Last update: May 2, 2011
*geni Rabbi Jehuda (see LOEW /LOEB/LÖW family) ben Bezalel "aka The MaHaral of Prague"Born: 1525 in Posen or Pesach Eve. 1512 Worms. Died: Aug 22, 1609 in Prague or Sep 17, 1609 + Perl (Perla) SHMELKES-REICH Born: 1528 in Prague. Died: May 5, 1610 in Prague. Their marriage was a very happy one and they were blessed with 6 daughters, all married into prominent Prague families and a son. Father: Samuel (Shmuel) Shmelkes-Reich Grandfather: Jakob (Ya'akov) Shmelkes-Reich OR Schmuel ZAKS (aka Rich Shmelkes) Died: Oct 24, 1557 in Prague, son of Koppel Altschul(er) of Zatce & Dobra, daughter of David Pisecky Mother: Dobra, daughter of Rabbi Moshe ben Yitzhak Breznicky
Note: see Louis D. Brandeis 1856-1941 article: "Brandeis is the name of a place near Prague, the capital of Bohemia. Here, in one of the oldest ghettos of Europe, members of the Brandeis family lived for generations.. ..In the ancient cemetery, among the 20,000 tombstones, could be found some with the name of Brandeis inscribed upon them-names of rabbis, merchants or artisans who belonged to Jewish guilds.."
Note: same Jacob? ".. Jacob Brandeis (who joined Liga in the second half of the 1680s). The enmity between Jacob Brandeis and his two brothers Naftali and Samuel came to a head in 1693 with a memorable affray in the Lesser Town" AND property taxes 1688: Moyses Isack Brandeis (10), ..Löbl (Moses) Brandeis (4) on Miscellaneous Names page (Judaica Bohemiae)
Note: article "..Cerf Brandeis descended from the levitischen Brandeis family from Prague. Ancestor of this Prager Brandeis family, Cerf's great-great-grandfather R. Simon Brandeis, excellent gate (director) of the Jewish municipality of Prague who married Gitele Loew, daughter of the illustrues rabbi and philosopher Judah Loew ben Bezalel (1511-1609, called MaHaral). The father of Cerf Brandeis, R. Jakob Koppel Brandeis, was about the common descent of the MaHaral a cousin of 3-rd degree of two most famous rabbis of the time: kabbalist R. Naphtali Katz (1645-1719) and R. Jair Chajim Bacharach ( - 1702 Worms). R. Jakob Brandeis married Keila Shapiro/Spira, descendant of the eminent rabbi Samuel Speyer, ancestor of most of the today's SPIRA familien .."
Note: same as above on JE? Brandeis, with Moses Brandeis, sons: Bezaleel ben Moses (Ha-Levi) Brandeis, Bohemian rabbi and author; died about 1750 at Jung-Bunzlau & his son, Baruch Judah Brandeis; Gabriel Brandeis, rabbi in Prague; and Jacob Brandeis, rabbi in Düsseldorf
Note JE: One of the oldest Jewish families in Prague; probably "Falkeles" originally, from "Falk," a common name among Jews of the 16th and 17th centuries. The name occurs with various spellings (as "Felkeles" and "Falkenes") on old tombstones in the Jewish cemetery of Prague (see Hock, "Die Familien Prags," 1892, s.v. "Presburg"). The only known attempt to construct a family tree was made by R. Eleazar Fleckeles, who traced his ancestors to the 9th generation as follows: Eleazar (1723-98) same as below? b. David b. Wolf b. Shalom b. Selig b. David b. Wolf ( - 1672) b. David b. Wolf. The last-named was a son-in-law of David Gans, and is mentioned by Heller in Tosafot Yom-Ṭob on Kilayim 3, Mishnah 1. From the above-mentioned work of Hock it seems that Wolf was the son of David b. Judah, who died in 1602, and who had another son, Hirsch ( - 1605), and a daughter, Pessel ( - 1636). The Fleckeles family was connected by marriage with that of R. Löw of Prague and that of R. Heschel of Cracow, as well as with other prominent families. Eleazar Fleckeles' daughter was married to R. Isaac Spitz of Bunzlau. Leopold Fleckeles, physician and writer (in German) on medical subjects, was born in Vienna 1802, and died in Carlsbad 1879
Note: JE "At the age of 24 he became rabbi of Kojetein, a small town in Moravia. In 1780 he was appointed dayyan in his native city. Later he accepted the office of rabbi of the bet ha-midrash founded by Joachim Popper and Israel Fränkel. Fleckeles was renowned for his scholarship and oratorical gifts, and for his skill in worldly affairs. He twice had audience with Emperor Francis I." Dominated Jewish life in Prague around the turn of the century with his anti-Haskala (anti-enlightenment) sermons and tracts
Note: Henriette (nee Janowitzer) Flekeles was a free thinking salonista (thus in rebellion from her highly orthodox Flekeles in-laws), and tells us, rather breezily, that she was in regular correspondence with Wilhelm von Humbodt, the Prussian philosopher and reformer in the very different cultural milieu of Berlin. If true, that would have been seen as disturbingly secular conduct for a young wife living in the Jewish quarter of Prague in the 1820's and 30's
*2nd wife of David: Franziska HUMPOLETZ? *any relation to Franziska Humpoletz (1807 Prague - ) 1 of 8 ch. of Salomon Humpoletz (1779 Prague -) & Rebeka (?) (1784 Prague - 2/7/1884) on Prague cons. card?
Note: see Moses HaLevi Heller-Wallerstein Mirels (FRÄNKEL) (1598 Vienna - 1688 Vienna) on Spira page OR any relation to wikipedia & Jewishgen: Yom-Tov Lippman Heller (1579 Wallerstein - 1654 Krakow), son of Nathan haLevi Heller, son of Moses + Rachel (- 1655), daughter of Moses Aaron Askenazi & Nechele Teomin
MaHaral is an acronym for Moraynu HaReav Judah LOEW ben B'zalel (Our teacher Judah LOEW son of B'zalel). Der Hohe Rabbi LOEW von Prag. As a poor student, Judah became engaged to a wealthy woman Perla Shmelkes, daughter of Samuel and intended to continue his studies with her family's support. When they became impoverished, however, the marriage was delayed, and his fiancée had to run a food shop. One day a knight passedby and snatched a loaf of bread from the shop on his spear. He explained that he had not eaten for three days and left his cloak with its lining containing gold coins as payment. The marriage could thus go ahead, and Judah spent the rest of his life in relative affluence. He accepted a rabbinical position in 1553 as Landesrabbiner of Moravia at Nikolsburg, directing community affairs but also determining which tractate of the Talmud was to be studied in the communities in that province. He also revised the community statutes on the election and taxation process. Although he retired from Moravia in 1588 at age 60, the communities still considered him an authority long after that. One of his activities in Moravia was the rallying against slanderous slurs on legitimacy (Nadler) that were spread in the community against certain families and could ruin the finding of a marriage partner (known as shidduchim within Orthodox Judaism) for the children of those families. This phenomenon even affected his own family. He used one of the two yearly grand sermons (between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur 1583) to denounce the phenomenon. He moved back to Prague in 1588, where he again accepted a rabbinical position, replacing the retired Isaac Hayoth. He immediately reiterated his views on Nadler. In 1592, the MaHaral moved to Posen, where he had been elected as Chief Rabbi of Poland. In Posen he composed Netivoth Olam and part of Derech Chaim. Towards the end of his life he moved back to Prague, where he died in 1609. He is buried there; his tomb is a famous tourist attraction.
The MaHaral of Prague - known for giving birth to the Golem is buried in a famous tomb in the Old Jewish cemetery next to his wife Perla. His statue has been in front of Prague’s city hall since 1917. Jehuda was chief Rabbi of Prague (from 1597), famous leader, talmudist, moralist, theologian, mathematician, philosopher, teacher and mystic. According to legend, he created a GOLEM at the Altneuschul Synagogue in Prague to serve the Jewish community. From out of dust and brought to life by the insertion of God's name under its tongue, it obeyed Judah's commands, helping Jews survive anti-Jewish measures and blood libel accusations and serving as a shabbos goi. According to the legend, Golem could be made of clay from the banks of the Vltava river in Prague. Following the prescribed rituals, the Rabbi built the Golem and made him come to life by reciting special incantations in Hebrew. It was close to Easter, and a Jew-hating priest was trying to incite the Christians against the Jews. As Rabbi Loew's Golem grew bigger, he also became more violent and threatened innocent lives spreading fear. Rabbi Loew was promised that the violence against the Jews would stop if the Golem was destroyed. The Rabbi agreed. To destroy the Golem, he rubbed out the first letter of the word "emet" from the golem's forehead to make the Hebrew word "met", meaning death. In some incarnations of the legend of the MaHaral's golem, the golem has powers that can aid it in its tasks. These include invisibility, a heated touch, and the ability to use the MaHaral's walking stick to summon spirits from the dead. This last power was often crucial, as the golem could summon dead witnesses, which the medieval Prague courts would allow to testify. According to legend, the Golem of Prague's remains are stored in a coffin in the attic of the Altneuschul in Prague, and it can be summoned again if needed. The existence of a golem is sometimes a mixed blessing. Golems are not intelligent - if commanded to perform a task, they will take the instructions perfectly literally. *see Amazon.com products: MaHaral of Prague, Velký pražský Rabi Jehuda Löw by František Kafka, Golem children book and The Golem DVD other MaHaral books, more and articles on Golem, the MaHaral, MaHaral or couses on the MaHaral and Factbites URL links
On February 23, 1592, Emperor Rudolf II invited him to an audience to the Hradshin(castle). According to legend, the Emperor wanted to be introduced to mysticism by the MaHaral, who could perform cabbalistic wonders. On February 16, 1594, his colleague astronomer Tycho Brahe arranged for him to speak with the Emperor, on the subject of Kabblah (Jewish mysticism) and alchemy a subject which held much fascination for the emperor. His elder brother Rabbi Sinai Loew (see below) and his son-in-law Isaac Ha-Kohen above and Prince Bertier were also present with the emperor. *MaHaral article: "..The MaHaral conceded readily that man, as we find him in the world, does not always reveal his noble stature. But this derives from the fact, explained the MaHaral, that man's excellence is not an endowment with which he comes into the world. It is rather a development which he must attain through his own efforts. As formed by the Creator, a man is incomplete, and the whole burden of his life is a striving for completion, a quest for perfection.."
*In 1990, our parents and sister visited the cemetery and as per Jewish tradition, our mom Adele Heidi (Klimesch) ROHEL placed a small rock on top of the grave, "for good luck". Only several years later did she find out from a relative, that she is a descendant of MaHaral's brother Rabbi Sinai LOEW
Contact: Peter Rohel, 42 Cardigan Rd., Toronto, ON, Canada M8Z-2W2 | Copyright: © 2004-2012
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids