web analytics
September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.”

Giving her the bag, he took more bread and departed. The frightened girl took the bag inside and opened it. She saw that it was filled with various skins and furs. Taking the skins out she was shocked to find bank notes valued at thousands of dollars and many rare gems and diamonds.

She rushed to her parents and shouted: “We are saved! We are rich again. G-d has just sent us a fortune!”

The parents were overjoyed to see the contents of the bag and they blessed G-d for sending them this messenger of good fortune. The father immediately wrote to Yehuda, telling him the story and urging him to come from the yeshiva for now he would be able to fulfill his pledge.

The wedding was held the following week, and all the leaders of Israel were present. They blessed the young couple and they gave thanks to G-d for the miracle. Thus, a strange soldier was responsible for the wedding of the Maharal of Prague and his wife Pearl.

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war.  Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.
Gazan Deaths and Destruction Dramatically Drives Popularity for Hamas
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

“When I asked why she cried so much she said she came from a very religious home and feared she would be sold to a non-Jew and forced to convert.

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Know that from. the day I began to recite the holy name of God, I have always loved Shabbos

And so the enemy burst into the Sanctuary and set up a stand on the Temple Mount.

By means of a clever pretext, they succeeded in getting Rabi Yitzhak aboard a ship and sailed it down the river.

When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.

One winter morning a terrible blizzard raged, the weather dropped to below zero, and the woman became desperately ill.

Entering the city he visited the cattle market and saw two parei adumah untouched by any harness.

Crowded into their ghettos and suffering legal disabilities that make today’s claims of discriminations pale into insignificance, the German Jews suffered poverty and wretchedness.

Every night he would go out in the darkness and dig for hours until the waters began to rise, and watering places for the weary and thirsty came into being.

One of the greatest opponents was a certain wealthy man who did all that he could to make life difficult for Rav Naftali.

Do you wonder at times what possible purpose some little insect might have for being?

The two fathers began to discuss the terms and naturally, they were astounded to find that each one assumed that the other would give double.

Twelve years went by until Eliyahu HaNavi came to the entrance of the cave and exclaimed, “The Roman emperor has died and all of his decrees have become void. You are no longer under a death sentence.”

Rav Naftali was born the day that the Baal Shem Tov passed away, on the holiday of Shavuos, in the year 5520

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

He followed her advice and, before departing, the rabbanim offered him a bracha. “Aba Yudin, may the Lord return your wealth, for all the kind deeds you do.”

In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

“When I asked why she cried so much she said she came from a very religious home and feared she would be sold to a non-Jew and forced to convert.

Know that from. the day I began to recite the holy name of God, I have always loved Shabbos

And so the enemy burst into the Sanctuary and set up a stand on the Temple Mount.

By means of a clever pretext, they succeeded in getting Rabi Yitzhak aboard a ship and sailed it down the river.

When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: