web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post


The Wedding of the Maharal of Prague and His Wife Pearl


The tomb of the Maharal

Rabi Yehuda ben Bezalel Lowe, known as the Maharal of Prague, was born in 1525, in Posen, and died in 1609 in Prague. These were troubled times for the Jews in Austria, Poland, and the surrounding countries. Both Catholics and Protestants joined forces to persecute the Jews, and not a day passed that a new atrocity wasn’t inflicted upon them. Into this difficult environment came the Maharal.

Rabi Yehuda’s name evokes the thought of legend. But today let me share with you a miraculous story, of how a soldier was responsible for his marriage to Pearl, the only daughter of the wealthy and prominent Reb Shmuel ben Reb Yaakov.

Esav Needs Yaakov

In his youth the Maharal was already known as a genius. One day, at the age of five, he was studying the story of how Esav and Yaakov were born.

“And the children struggled with her (Rivka),” (Genesis 25:22), the rebbe intoned. Then, pointing to Rashi, he taught the children Vayisrotzitzu, struggling, which also denotes running. Chazal explained that when Rivka would pass the Beis Medrash of Shem and Ever, Yaakov struggled to come forth and when she passed the door of idol worship, Esav struggled to come forth.

Little Yehuda raised his hand and asked, “I can understand why Yaakov could not come forth because Esau blocked his way, as he was the first to be born. But why wasn’t Esav able to go forth, seeing that there was no one to block his way out?”

The teacher pondered for a moment and the asked, “What is your answer to this question, Yehuda? I know that you are an exceptionally bright boy.”

The boy thought for a moment and then replied: “As far as I can see, Esav didn’t want to leave without Yaakov. For who would he hit? Whose life would he make miserable if not Yaakov’s? Who would he persecute and murder and upon whom would he take his revenge for studying the Torah, if not Yaakov? Therefore, Esav didn’t want to leave.”

Even at that young age the children were aware of the miserable lot of the Jews of that era.

The Rich Man’s Daughter

At the age of nine, Yehuda was well known throughout the country as a genius and many offers of matrimony were made. Eventually, he was chosen by the prominent Reb Shmuel ben Reb Yaakov who had a five-year-old daughter, his only child whose name was Pearl. The tenayim was signed and the bride’s father agreed to send Yehuda to study in a yeshiva until he became bar mitzvah and then the wedding would take place.

In the meantime, tragic days befell Jewry. War broke out between Turkey and Austria and both sides vented their wrath upon the Jews who were caught in between. Unfortunately, Reb Yaakov, Yehuda’s future father-in-law, was robbed of all his possessions. The advancing soldiers confiscated his stores and warehouses and he was soon reduced to a pauper. That day a sad Reb Yaakov wrote to Yehuda telling him of his misfortune and advising him that he could not fulfill his part of the contract. Therefore, he would free him of his obligation to marry his daughter.

But Yehuda replied that a word given is a word that must be kept regardless of the ensuing circumstances. If G-d saw fit to make them poor, then he would also see fit at a future date to restore their fortunes. In the meantime he would study in the yeshiva, doing odd jobs on the side to support himself and he would wait until G-d showed His mercy again.

Reb Yaakov was profuse in his thanks as he blessed young Yehuda. The years rolled by and Reb Yaakov’s circumstances became worse. In the meantime, Yehuda continued to study in the yeshiva and his name as a gaon became known throughout the country. Many offers of marriage came to him but he brushed them all aside. His future wife had to open a small bakery to support her aging parents who were heartbroken at the turn of events. Over 20 years passed. Yehuda was now 32 years old and Pearl was 28 and still no sign of marriage.

The Visiting Soldier

One day an army captain entered the town. He passed Pearl’s bakery and seeing so many luscious challahs and cake, he took his spear, picked up a few of them and began to eat them ravenously. The young and beautiful Pearl rushed out of the store and began to plead with the soldier to stop, for this was her only means of support for herself had her parents.

The soldier took pity on the beautiful girl and he replied: “I hope you will excuse my behavior but this is the first food I’ve had in three days. I just came back from the warfront and I am famished. All I can offer you is this woolen bag which I took from an enemy soldier. I never even opened it to scan its contents, but you can have the bag.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Wedding of the Maharal of Prague and His Wife Pearl”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The White House will free Pollard but bar him from traveling to Israel for five years.
US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years
Latest Kidz Stories
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Ptolemy, King of Egypt, had requested that 72 sages be sent to his country to translate the Torah. They were wined and dined and then the king put to them 72 questions, to test their wisdom. The Second Day On the second day, the king made a grand feast and he again began questioning the […]

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The first question the king asked was, “What shall a king do to make his rule successful so that he can reign all of his life in peace and happiness?”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Aristeas remained in Jerusalem viewing the sights. He was honored by being permitted to view the kohanim doing the avodah in the Beis HaMikdash.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“Greetings to you,” they called out, “will you be kind enough to give us a blessing?”

“In Chad Gadya we find that the shochet kills the ox and is immediately killed in turn by the Malach HaMaves.

His fifth stage of life starts when he is 18 years of age. He is then compared to a mule.

To his amazement and disappointment, however, David HaMelech showed not the slightest indication of stopping for even a moment.

When his students saw the mule, they decided to clean it and smooth it for their teacher.

Rav Yosef Shmuel looked at the guests and said, “I am very sorry, but I am hired to do the holy work of teaching children Torah. I am not allowed to waste even a moment from this work. This evening, when I have finished, I will be glad to see you and talk with you.”

Finally, his wife came in with the dinner that she had hurriedly prepared and which was not comparable to the wonderful repast she had given away.

The great giant of his time, the Vilna Gaon, once said that the Shaagas Aryeh had the entire Talmud and its commentators at his fingertips and that he could relate the gist of all of them and their sources in one hour.

As for myself, I can only answer that the yetzer hara has persuaded me to take the position because of the honor.

“It must be that beggar,” he exclaimed. “He probably stole my cane.”

“If, however, he rules the other way – that something is not kosher when in reality it is kosher – and thus robs a poor man of his money, this is a far more serious thing.

“Come now, I insist. Tell me what errand of mercy you are on so that I too may have a share in the mitzvah.”

One of the most remarkable men in chassidic lore was Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, known as the Chozeh of Lublin. Rav Yaakov Yitzchak was responsible for chassidus capturing the hearts of the vast majority of Polish Jewry. He was not only a great scholar but also possessed humility and modesty, traits that drew many other […]

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Ptolemy, King of Egypt, had requested that 72 sages be sent to his country to translate the Torah. They were wined and dined and then the king put to them 72 questions, to test their wisdom. The Second Day On the second day, the king made a grand feast and he again began questioning the […]

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The first question the king asked was, “What shall a king do to make his rule successful so that he can reign all of his life in peace and happiness?”

Aristeas remained in Jerusalem viewing the sights. He was honored by being permitted to view the kohanim doing the avodah in the Beis HaMikdash.

“In Chad Gadya we find that the shochet kills the ox and is immediately killed in turn by the Malach HaMaves.

His fifth stage of life starts when he is 18 years of age. He is then compared to a mule.

To his amazement and disappointment, however, David HaMelech showed not the slightest indication of stopping for even a moment.

When his students saw the mule, they decided to clean it and smooth it for their teacher.

Rav Yosef Shmuel looked at the guests and said, “I am very sorry, but I am hired to do the holy work of teaching children Torah. I am not allowed to waste even a moment from this work. This evening, when I have finished, I will be glad to see you and talk with you.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/midrash-stories/the-maharal/2012/02/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: